SOUTHPORT – 1 [Elam 73]
SUTTON UNITED – 1 [Winston 11]
Match Reporter: Chalmers
Nice long journey up north for a game we thought we had a chance of winning. It’s not that funny! With a dodgy result against Welling we needed to make amends, prove to them and us that we’re good enough for this league.
Made it to the 1st of 7 Firkins on our merry travels. The Flitch in Leigh (It was sort of on the way!) where we bump into some Barrow fans. Even they want to know how we lost to Welling! After the game we visit Central Liverpool to sample the Florin & the Flute, then to Wavertree for a beer in the Fold. We crossed the Runcorn bridge on our way to Chester. This brings back terrible memories for Bob & Col. I’ve not had the pleasure, but it’s a smoggy horrible looking place. We arrive in Chester and visit the Falchion, which I have no recollection of! And the Fortress, which I remember clearly. As it was stacked with women!
So to the game. We got to the ground, not a bad little place with a nice big stand. Strange support though. There was this clapping thing they do to try and wind up the opposition. Oh we laughed!
Apparently every game up here is segregated, they obviously don’t trust their own lot. They confiscated Yeovil’s drum recently ‘cos they thought it might cause a ruck!! Typical Northern side, with Watson & Winston both getting clobbered in the first few minutes. Dack collides with one of their players and needs treatment. This gets him some shit from the home fans. Harford then produces a good through ball for Sammy, who lobs the oncoming ‘keeper. He tries to recover, but ends up in the back of the net with the ball. Howells makes light work of a fierce shot shortly after and Riley gets twatted by one of their lot. We’re certainly getting knocked about, don’t think they like going behind here!
Skelly goes on a surging run and he finds Winston with a good pass. Sammy is denied at the last moment by a good tackle. Meanwhile, their forward Stuart is looking dangerous and has a couple of good opportunities. The half plays out with some good work by Sammy earning a corner, Riley blasting into the next town, Dack getting poleaxed again by our genial hosts and Watson kicking thin air at a drop ball. Laker and Berry avert a couple of nervy moments with good tackling.
Good 1st half for us though, fairly consistent. Commitment & effort from everyone. A similar 2nd half could see us nick the points here!
We come out for the restart, but we’re sitting back and not getting stuck in. All very Wellingesque. Southport take a quick free-kick with no reaction from us. A shot accross the face of our goal gives us a scare. We seem to be playing with 9 defenders, Southport are all over us. Goal line clearances and scrambles, boy are we riding our luck! We manage some moments of our own, with some nice touches from Brooker & Skelly and Watson goes close with a header. The home side respond with a couple of opportunities themselves. Watson & Winston are looking good together for once. Then the inevitable equaliser comes. A long ball over Skelly finds Elam 10 yards out and he finishes 1st time.
Nko comes on to try and get us pushing forward again and he makes some good runs down the flank. One deep cross is dropped by the ‘keeper and Vines isn’t able to make him pay for the error. Vines then fluffs a good chance and it’s then backs to the wall for the last 5 minutes. Although we nearly snatch the win with Brooker playing a good ball through to nippy sub Forrester and only a last ditch tackle denies him a debut goal.
1-1 then, but we still have this problem of sitting back trying to hold onto slender leads, when we don’t have the defence for it. We were easily outplayed in the second half. Tea lady had a nice arse though!
Another thing that came up is that Salako seems to have left us. Apparently he may be re-signing for the Scummers as a mate told me they are apparently looking at a couple of forwards, but wouldn’t say who. Figures. With a couple of home games coming up we need to notch a couple more wins and start moving up the table.
TEAM : Howells, Laker, Brooker, Skelly, Berry, Riley, Harford, Dack, Harlow, Winston, Watson
SUBS : Ekoku, Vines, Hutchinson, Forrester