Match report Vs SouthportVenue: AggboroughDate: 27-01-18Att: 1968 (away fans: 99)

27-01-18 - Report - Harriers 3 Southport 0

On fire first half Harriers sink sorry Southport

Report: Phil Lench

A stunning first half at home to Southport today was basically a continuation of Tuesday evenings equally stunning second half against FC Utd of Manchester. In that game we racked up four superb goals in the space of twenty five minutes and then this afternoon three first half goals from Manny Sonupè, Fraser Horsfall and Joe Ironside in the space of ten minutes sealed the points for the Reds and moved us up a place into fifth in the table.

We could, and should, have taken the lead within seconds of the game starting when Sonupè broke free from the defensive shackles of Southport to fly towards the goal, sidestepping a defender on the way, to have a free shot on goal but it was just too wide of the mark and ran outside the post with the Southport keeper Jon Worsnop well beaten.

He made up for that in the best possible way just thirteen minutes later when he left his defender for dead once again and steered the ball goalwards only for a defender to finish off the move by diverting it away from his keeper and into the net.

We were running riot and, like FC Utd, the Sandgrounders could not live with us even though they had arrived here on the back of a good winning run and high hopes of continuing that. They tried but we were just too good for them with our super passing and finding spaces.

The second goal wasn’t long coming and this time it went to Fraser Horsfall back in the side following a one game suspension. One of many first half corners was delivered into the area by James McQuilkin but then got recycled back out to him. This time he made no mistake with a ball back in that was met by the head of Fraser who soared above all others to plant it into the back of the net.

We had to wait a little longer for the third and final goal but what’s six minutes in a half this good?

It was McQuilkin again who supplied the ammunition and this time it was Ironside that got to the ball first to swoop his head down and meet the incoming ball to power it into the back of the net. We had chances to increase the lead further but first we settled back for a while to enjoy our three goal lead.

Southport hadn’t been in the game at all until now but a chance was given to Jason Gilchrist with a free header that went over the bar and then another for Elliot Osborne that got deflected away to safety.

The warning signs were beginning to appear that Southport weren’t prepared to sit back and accept defeat and our main problem appeared to be in defence where we were a little slow in closing their forwards down and clear to ball away quickly enough.

HT: 3 – 0

At the start of the second half Southport made a couple of changes with the former Harrier Adam Dawson making way for Dion Charles and Caleb Richards for new signing Graham Kelly. It was Charles that made the big difference by running at our defenders and giving them something to think about.

For some reason we seemed happy to accept that they would be more effective than us this half but that shouldn’t have been the case. If we had continued to play as we had in the first half I could  have seen us doubling the scoreline by the end of the game. The loss of Elton N’Gwatala with an injury and Sonupè off for George Waring lost us our creative outlets and it was a more defensive forty five for us that saw us cope with everything that the visitors could throw at us. Brandon Hall didn’t have a save to make.

At times it was a little slack at the back though and it took three good blocks from James O’Connor to keep both Osborne and Gilchrist at bay. We did get a couple of chances to increase our lead through a Ryan Croasdale chip over the keeper that he managed to keep out and then from George Waring when Worsnop got down low to keep the loanee strikers shot out.

The game finally fizzled out with no comeback from Southport and the Harriers running out comfortable winners once more. The win moves us up a place and now we have a few extra days off until our next game away at Curzon Ashton a week this Monday. A win there could see us move up to fourth place in the table above Spennymoor Town. The side we will be facing on the following Saturday.

I think we finally have what it takes to gain promotion and if we could cure this sitting back on a lead problem we could even do it via the title.

FT: 3 – 0

Goals for Harriers: Sonupè 14, Horsfall 19, Ironside 25

The Harriers Online MotM is: Fraser Horsfall

Talk about the game here and phone the Harriers Hotline on 01905 577 777 after the game too

Latest table and stats here

N’Gwatala 56 
A Brown    
Wright 81 
Waring 66 
Austin 56 
J Richards    
C Richards 46 
Dawson 46 
Kelly 46 
Charles 46 
James Bell