Southport FC 1 Farsley Celtic 1
Report By Alex Richardson
Southport FC supporters rose to give their applause to Life President Sam Shrouder in the 78th minute of last night’s Home game against Farsley Celtic.
It was the first match at The Big Help Stadium since Sam’s tragic death on Sunday.
There will also be a minute’s applause before the game against South Shields this Saturday, with players wearing black armbands, when members of Sam’s family will be present.
The Big Help Stadium welcomed Farsley Celtic as Southport shared the points with the visitors.
The crossbar twice denied what would have been a fitting winner for Sam, but the Sandgrounders maintained their impressive form under manager Jim Bentley.
Brad Holmes fired home an impressive finish cancelling out Farsley Celtic’s early opener resulting in the continuity of both sides’ unbeaten runs.
The mid-table clash just prior to the halfway point of this campaign saw The Celt Army looking to make it three unbeaten for the first time since August as they faced Jim Bentley’s high-flying side.
The visitors started positively with Dylan Youmbi initially getting the better of Jack Doyle down the right-hand side before firing the ball across the face of goal, however no-one was there to pounce.
It was not long until they found the opener through Ben Atkinson, delivering in an inviting ball that Southport struggled to deal with, seeing it nestle into the far corner once it was knocked off the woodwork after a clear moment of confusion.
The Port responded immediately finding the resulting equaliser through Brad Holmes after he received the ball on the left-hand side with a positive touch before driving into the edge of the area and netting a precise finish at the near-post, past the out-stretched Harry Allen.
Once the teams were back on level terms, the first half came to a quiet close after an enthusiastic start.
The Yellows came out on the front foot for the second half, with Holmes involved again, teasing over a cross into the box but Connor O’Brien was alert and cleared his efforts out for a corner.
Goalkeeper, Allen, was called into action again denying Jack Bainbridge from point-blank range after a second of panic once the midfielder pinched the ball away in the 18-yard box, however it was eventually well-recovered.
The Port then enjoyed a flurry of chances, seeing Harry Flowers and Richie Bennett both rattle the bar with well-struck volleys from close range and being agonisingly close to finding the lead.
Josh Hmami also got in on the action after being threaded through by David Morgan, however slightly unprepared and only managed to force a save once more.
The visitors almost managed three wins from three in a last-gasp chance at the end, with goalscorer Atkinson coming once more in search of his brace.
However, mainly untested during the contest, Chris Renshaw was not caught out and managed a strong hand to deny Clayton Donaldson’s side, providing late drama.
The Port now look ahead to FA Trophy action on Saturday, hosting South Shields for the second time in seven days.