By Rob Urwin
The bandwagon rolls on with another win on the road as Southport take all three points at Gloucester this afternoon to make it 13 league games without defeat.
Perhaps the biggest stat is the superb record of conceding just one goal in the last seven league games and four consecutive clean sheets.
This win was based on defensive solidity with the back four outstanding all afternoon ably backed up by the ever reliable Cam Mason with another clean sheet to his name helped by one tremendous flying save late in the first half.
Cam now has nine clean sheets out of twenty starts and if you bear in mind he didn’t have any in the first five matches it is a tremendous record.
Southport didn’t have it all their own way particularly in the first half when the home side probed the goal without any real scares. They coped well with the plastic pitch which did take a bit of getting used to as the bounce was quite high on occasions.
Southport rarely threatened in the first period. Jordan Archer went close before Connor Woods scored the only goal of the game in the 27th minute with a sweet volley from 12 yards to send the travelling faithful into raptures and Connor performing his acrobatic goal celebration once again. This time the goal was definitely one for Connor.
The long throw once again reaped dividends from Doug Tharme. The ball was headed on by Adam Anson and after a bit of a mix up in the Gloucester defence Connor was on hand to finish.
Southport went into the break 1-0 up but had been made to work hard in the first period.
A change of shape saw the visitors much more effective in the second period and chances fell to Woods, Archer, Vassallo(hitting the post on 57 minutes), Walton, Anson and Mason but Southport couldn’t get the second goal which would have killed the game off.
The home side were reduced to ten men when the home skipper was sent off late on for a scything challenge on Isaac Buckley-Ricketts.
With a 1-0 lead you always remain anxious that one slip could see the score pegged back but this is a very resilient Southport side and they were able to see the game out comfortably.
It is a sign of a good performance when you struggle to pick out a man of the match as they all played well. The back four were outstanding, Connor was back to his best up front, new boy Tyler Walton looks a great addition to the squad but Charlie Munro was superb in midfield and just edged my vote.
When you look at just how thin the squad is because of injuries to Chris Doyle, Russ Benjamin, Niall Watson and Josh Hmami the current run is nothing short of miraculous and manager Liam Watson and Assistant Manager Terry McPhillips are doing a great job in keeping this run going.
Sub Buckley-Ricketts for Woods 79 Minutes