Southport FC. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Southport FC 2 Blyth Spartans 1

Report By Alex Richardson

Southport FC managed their second home win of 2023, after a nervous final ten minutes saw them take all three points following two quick successive goals early into the second half.

A tremendous set piece routine proved to be the difference between the hosts and Blyth after Tyler Walton received a clever ball and netted from a tight angle with a smart finish.

The first half looked to tell the same tale that The Yellows have endured for the last four league games – failure to score and with both sides hitting the woodwork twice, the affair certainly wasn’t short of opportunities.

Spartans came with the chances first, with Michael Liddle hit with frustration first, being denied of an early opener by the post.

Walton, the eventual Man of the Match, proved too tenacious from the early stages, taking a chance into his stride and forcing goalkeeper Alex Mitchell into the first save of the night.

Minutes later, the subsequent breaker of the deadlock for the evening, Chris Doyle, came close to poking past Mitchell before the goal frame came into action again.

It was only a matter of seconds before it was an influence on the game yet again, as the visitors broke on the counter from that chance, with Cedric Main finding the ball at his feet before he drilled it across goal – prevented by the same post that provided disappointment to teammate Liddle earlier on.

Moments after the break, Southport were awarded a throw-in, which saw the frequently used routine of Charlie Oliver being called into action. Producing a trademark delivery, eventually reaching the six-yard box, Doyle – despite being impeded handed Liam Watson’s men the lead.

A goal that ended a spell of 400 league minutes without a goal for the Sandgrounders.

After waiting that long, two came at once with Walton soon doubling Southport’s lead – after Connor Woods played in a deep free-kick to the goalscorers feet, who let it run past his marker before knocking it past Blyth keeper an outside-of-the-boot finish.

Connor Heath wasn’t shy from the action either, seeing himself involved in chances past the hour mark. Once forcing a save out of Mitchell and the other leaving the keeper helpless, however his curling effort failed to nestle into the bottom corner and instead hit the post, again.

Graham Fenton’s men found their way back into the game, with a controversial penalty seeing substitute Troy Chiabi send Tony McMillan down the wrong way with just ten minutes left to play.

McMillan was called into action in the latter stages again, tipping over a very ambitious, however dangerous effort over the bar.

Despite the away side throwing everything they had into late set pieces and chances, the Haig Avenue crowd managed to help their side over the finish line, with a win positively starting a very important two-week spell of four consecutive home fixtures.

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