Venue: Aggborough Date: 22-10-22 Harriers 0 Southport 2 Att: 2301 (away fans: 50)

22-10-22. Match report Vs Southport

Harriers grounded by Sandgrounders

Report: Dan Harper

Just four days after a poor showing up in AFC Fylde on Tuesday the Harriers were once again guilty of a dire showing, this time being the worst yet, as Southport visited and defeated Harriers 2-0.

On the contrary, it would be the home side that would start the better of the two sides. After winning the ball on the edge of the area Ethan Freemantle played it through to our ineffective centre forward, Yusifu Ceesay, in the seventh minute only for his effort to be smothered by Tony McMillan, the Southport keeper.

The Lancashire based referee then made our game more difficult by booking three players in quick succession: Shane Byrne, Tom Leak and Ceesay turning our game into a situation that made the players reticent to tackle. Southport seemed to take advantage of that.

What followed then was a period of almost no action until disaster struck for the home side in the twenty ninth minute following a knock-on from a long throw-in Niall Watson converted from close range past a helpless Tom Palmer which triggered Aggborough to turn into a toxic cauldron. This was the breaking point and fans started turning against the management and players with chants of ‘We are F****** sh*t’ being just one of many.

The Harriers attempted an instant response with the best chance coming in the thirty second minute when Ceesay held onto the ball and teed it up for Scott Burgess but his shot was a weak side footed effort and was easily blocked. The home side went into halftime a goal behind as boos rang around Aggborough towards both the management and the referee. The atmosphere was at its worst in years.

HT: 0 – 1

Both sides emerged after half time and following what would have been an inevitable telling off from the management the home side reacted slightly when in the fifty first minute new signing Joe Starbuck weaved forward firing a shot which McMillan in the Southport goal saved low.

Following a switch in the formation after the substitution in the fifty seventh minute which saw Shane Byrne make way for Gabby Rogers a flurry of chances from corners came which saw the longest period of Harriers pressure throughout the entire game.

It was in the sixty first minute, however, that levels of anger amongst the Harriers faithful became incredible as Marcus Carver, on his birthday, doubled the lead for the away side and send the travelling fifty supporters into jubilation. the goal made the Harriers now lose any confidence, however small, gained from the momentum beforehand.

Southport should have made it three in the sixty ninth minute when Carver once again found space and fired an effort on goal only for him to somehow pull it just wide, as Palmer charged him down, and hit the side netting much to the home side’s scares.

Nothing much of note followed as the game came to a close but this leaves massive questions that need to be asked as effort was of a minimum and tactics once again questionable. Change is needed somehow, although on the other hand, with it being so early on is it worth a gamble?

In terms of the man of the match that is deserving of no one, lessons must be learned and soon. Harriers will once again be at home on Tuesday when they look to change their fortunes as they host tough opponents consisting of promotion hopefuls Chorley who will be bringing another local, to them, referee along with them.

FT: 0 – 2

Goals for Southport: Watson 28, Carver 61

The Harriers Online MotM is: For the second game running: No one!

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Byrne 56
Freemantle 63 
Morgan-Smith 63 
Rogers 56 
J Doyle    
C Doyle    
Mr Michael Crusham