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> Southport V Chester FC - Match Thread #38 - Vanarama National League N
Southport V Chester FC - Match Thread #38 - Vanarama National League N
What Will The Outcome Be?
Southport Win [ 1 ] ** [50.00%]
Chester FC Win [ 1 ] ** [50.00%]
Draw [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
Total Votes: 2
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Rio Doherty
post Dec 25 2019, 07:40 AM
Post #1


Rio Doherty
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Group: DC Members
Posts: 1253
Joined: 11-June 17
From: Newton, Chester
Member No.: 12774



Another important game looms tomorrow where we will make the journey to Lancashire to play Southport away where we search for a late Christmas present. A few weeks ago we would have been the favourites for this one, but our opponents have since gone above us due to a fine run of form, so this will be a very tough match. We haven’t got a great record at Haig Avenue, but we simply have to change it now otherwise we will continue to slip away. Also, we must get on the front foot because if we do start slowly, then we could be in for a long afternoon.

Our last match was on Saturday where we drew 0-0 at home against AFC Telford United in what was a frustrating encounter. I thought that the first half was quite an even affair with little chances, as both sides lacked that quality when it mattered. However, the second half was a lot more livelier from us, but we still had a habit of mucking about with the ball in the middle. We did have a number of chances though, and George Waring went so close to breaking the deadlock by hitting the post. Time was ticking, and we began to feel that it wasn’t going to be our day as we struck the woodwork again - this time Simon Grand hitting the crossbar. Before time Ryan Barnett got sent off for AFC Telford United after picking up his second yellow card, but even that didn’t help us. Despite all the possession we had, we couldn’t muster a goal which resulted in disappointment.

Southport have had an excellent campaign so far that now sees them above us in the table. In recent seasons The Sandgrounders have struggled in the opening stages of their campaigns, but this time out they have been consistent throughout and have been hard to break down. Liam Watson is now in his third spell as manager, and is working wonders in his current spell at the newly-named Pure Stadium. There will be two former blues up against us tomorrow, who are Jon McCarthy and Ryan Astles. Jon is Watson’s assistant manager and has been at Haig Avenue since December 2017, just months after being sacked here. Back in 2014 he joined here as assistant manager to Steve Burr, but when Burr was sacked he was appointed as manager after keeping us up whilst in caretaker charge. A fantastic start to the 2016-17 season saw us in 7th place at Christmas, but things went pear-shaped in the second half of the season where we survived relegation by the skin of our teeth. A poor start to the following campaign saw McCarthy sacked in September, although he should have gone after the Boreham Wood game on the last day. Meanwhile, centre back Astles joined us in January 2016 and did well for us where his notable moment was the equaliser in that 2-2 draw at Tranmere Rovers. He left us in the Summer of last year though to join our opponents, Southport, and he has settled in well there and is a regular starter.

Our form isn’t too inspiring going into this one, which is why a result is a must so that can avoid a potential post-Christmas collapse. I would quite happily take a draw as long as we win the return match at the 1885 Arena. Merry Christmas to you all, enjoy yourselves today, and see you tomorrow. Up The Seals!

Score: Southport 0-1 Chester FC (Dudley)

Attendance: 1,586 (524 Chester FC)

My predicted lineup:
Griffiths
Morgan Livesey Grand Taylor
Jackson Glendon Stopforth Ngwatala
Dudley Asante

COYB!


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Rio Doherty
post Dec 25 2019, 10:21 PM
Post #2


Rio Doherty
******

Group: DC Members
Posts: 1253
Joined: 11-June 17
From: Newton, Chester
Member No.: 12774



My match preview:
https://youtu.be/Z7lOuUbBH9I
Includes a key player from our opponents, transfer update, plus plenty more.


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Rio Doherty
post Dec 26 2019, 10:14 PM
Post #3


Rio Doherty
******

Group: DC Members
Posts: 1253
Joined: 11-June 17
From: Newton, Chester
Member No.: 12774



I said ahead of the game that we needed to put on a 90 minute performance, and our lads failed to let me down as they delivered the gifts in some fashion. In my opinion that was our best display for a good few weeks as we have been off the boil lately, and to perform so well against a side who were above us puts us back on the map again. To come away from there with more than a draw (which is what I would have taken at the start of the day) conveys that we can beat anyone, and even one of their supporters said that we could have won 8-1 which is all you need to know. Southport were rather disappointing in my view as barring a 10 minute spell after they scored, they just weren’t at it. For me, they didn’t look like a side who were third in the league but that is probably just because our excellence made them look poor.

I’d say that we just about shaded the first period as we had the most chances and we used the possession more effectively. In the opening stages of the game we started off really well as we hit the woodwork twice to send early warning signs. Our first chance of the encounter was a very close one, as a cross by Joel Taylor hit the post, with the scrambling Charlie Albinson unable to recover as a defender had to block Gary Stopforth’s rebound instead. Just a minute later Brad Jackson was the next to go close for us as a curling shot looped over, whilst at the other end Devarn Green fired an effort well wide following a Jack Sampson shot that was blocked. Seconds later, we struck the woodwork yet again as George Glendon tapped one against the post following a brilliant counter attack from him. Glendon was to be involved once more as a couple of nice interchanges with Akwasi Asante and Stopforth resulted in him being denied by Albinson. However, against the run of play former blue Ryan Astles made it 1-0 to Southport, although Zehn Mohammed did look offside. His shot was parried out by Russ Griffiths, but Astles slammed in the rebound as we failed to go out to him. From that moment onwards we dropped a little because Southport had their tails up and had the momentum on their side. They were more dangerous on the attack in what was their best spell of the game. George Waring had other ideas though, as he silenced the home faithful by slotting home into the far corner for us to make it 1-1. That goal was the defining moment because Southport fell down like a pile of dominoes and never recovered after that crucial moment. Captain Morgan (David that is, not the beverage) attempted to put the hosts back in front, but he lashed a shot miles past the post. Then, a Simon Grand header tried its best to find Waring, but he was unable to connect so Southport’s custodian was forced into a simple stop. We survived a couple of minor scares from Sampson just before the break as firstly he headed over from a corner, whilst he volleyed wide from a Devarn Green knock-down. A decent first half showing from us earned a deserved equaliser with all three points still at stake.

The second half was even better from us as we were more dominant and played some lovely stuff despite the pitch being heavy. We stretched Southport out to great effect, and some of our counter attacks were very lively as the hosts couldn’t cope with us at times. Our intent ensured that we started off the half in the perfect way, as just four minutes in Akwasi Asante bundled in to make it 2-1 to us. It was a scrappy goal, but we didn’t care too much about the style of it as the important thing was that we were in front for the first time. Chances died off for a little bit, but we still remained comfortable as we played the ball around nicely and had some lovely passages of play. Just before the 60th minute mark we had three opportunities in quick succession, as George Glendon’s initial effort was parried out by Charlie Albinson, Asante saw his rebound blocked, then Brad Jackson’s deft touch was cleared away. We were in a similar predicament a minute later as this time Gary Stopforth saw his hit palmed out, but Glendon’s follow-up was hoofed away by Southport. Gary Roberts put his piledriver into some practice as a fierce attempt from 25 yards out fizzed wide, whilst a Brad Jackson effort was deflected over by an opposing defender following a neat one-two between Asante and George Waring. The resulting corner from Glendon went in, and Dean Winnard very nearly bagged an own goal as he headed just over his own bar. With twenty minutes to go we sealed the deal in emphatic style, as Gary Roberts whizzed a thunderbolt into the top corner to make it 3-1 to us. It wasn’t too dissimilar to his injury time blockbuster against Altrincham, but this was even better as it was cleanly hit (without the aid of a deflection), and of course it was much further out. That goal of the season contender effectively confirmed our win, although Asante was having none of it as he wanted a fourth with a shot by him being blocked. He very nearly got it a minute later, as Albinson pulled off a good reaction save on the line to prevent the big man. Our slick passing style was unable to muster any further goals, but it certainly worked effectively as we saw the game out to come home with a much-needed victory.

Our man of the match for today is a very tough one to prosper as every blue played their part in this result, but I think Gary Stopforth just pips it for me. In my view, he is the reason why we won today because his position on the whole allowed him to have a lot more freedom by covering a lot of ground. He was placed behind our front two and just in front of our midfield, and that worked a treat as he got into a lot of space and aided them well. Our midfield G’s, Gary Roberts and George Glendon, both put in superb shifts too and played an influential role. Of course Roberts banged in that rocket to silence his former club, but he was so energetic and made some brilliant passes. Glendon, too, was very lively on the ball and got himself into some crucial positions with his runs both with and without it. Defensively, Joel Taylor had a great game because he used Southport’s shallowness to his advantage. One thing I noticed is Southport’s lack of width which allowed Joel to bomb up and down without too much pressure against him. Russ Griffiths didn’t have a great deal to do, but he made a couple of decent saves when necessary and wasn’t really to blame for The Sandgrounders’ solitary goal. Just like Taylor, Jamie Morgan was very good on the opposing side of the field as he got past Southport a lot and is a lot quicker than Kevin Roberts, who is being kept out of our team. Up front, both Akwasi Asante and George Waring were very effective today and delivered when it really mattered. Waring coped well against their defence by winning headers, and he scored a great goal by holding them off and finding the far corner. Asante kept his composure by finding the net too, and he was lively in the second half. I believe our managers got their team selection right today, and my message for them is to stick with the same team from now on. Jamie Morgan is more energetic than Kevin Roberts, Gary Stopforth was one of the key factors behind this result so should stay on, and the partnership of Asante and Waring was very strong today.

This result is a brilliant belated Christmas present, and now momentum is back behind us we have a great chance of following this up in less than 48 hours. Our next match is on Saturday as we host Curzon Ashton at home where we look to complete our first double of the campaign. Curzon have improved in recent weeks to steer themselves away from the relegation zone, but we simply must get the three points to complete a superb couple of days. Our players have shown that they are capable of turning things around, so now we need to show our faith by backing them again. Let’s hope that we have turned a corner, and we need to re-create our immense second half atmosphere throughout the game on Saturday.


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Rio Doherty
post Dec 27 2019, 04:25 PM
Post #4


Rio Doherty
******

Group: DC Members
Posts: 1253
Joined: 11-June 17
From: Newton, Chester
Member No.: 12774



My match vlog:
https://youtu.be/7-LIE2AEVqU
Really hope you enjoy.


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