As we look towards the second half of the season, our attention inevitably turns to predicting which teams might get promoted and which might suffer relegation. Often, this is done with a view to placing a bet, where a wildcard wager might pay big dividends. For many football fans out there, Southport FC might just be one of these wildcards.
Founded in 1881, Southport FC are one of the most well–established teams in the English league. Originally starting out in the Lancashire League, the Lancashire Combination, and the Central League, Southporthasslowly built up a reputation for themselves since being invited to join the Football League.
After being transferred to the National League North in 2004, the team haveplayed in either Tier 6 or Tier 5 of the league pyramid. In the 2016-17 season, Southport FC wererelegated from Tier 5 to Tier 6 and are currently playing in the National League North.Recently, the team have also lacked stability in terms of management. In January 2017, Steve Burr was sacked following an extremely poor run of results which had the club hovering above the relegation zone in the National League.
Following this reshuffling, Andy Preece was put in charge in February 2017 and had the honour of being the team’s 11thmanager since April 2013. However, thisdid little to improve their performance, and the club were eventually relegated in April 2017 following a 3-0 loss to Dover Athletic. After a string of managerial appointments and dismissals throughout the next two seasons, Southport haven’t been able to put together a consistent run of results to challenge for promotion back into the National League.
This season, however, the team finds itself in 6th place after 18 games under the management of Liam Watson, who has returned to the club for a second spell. If the season were to finish today, they would be in the play-offs and be in with a chance of promotion. It’s difficult to say for sure what thismeans for their outlook though, as several teams around them are covered by just a handful of points and the form of all these teams, Southport included, has been up and down.
We may learn more about Southport’s credentials over the festive period. However, the team certainlyhave made a promising start and are in a much stronger position than where they found themselves in the last two seasons. The bookies seem to be rating them as one of the favourites for promotion this season. You will, however, get long odds on them winning the National League North outrightas they are currently 10 points behind current leaders King’s Lynn. With this in mind, if you fancy placing a bet on Southport, we would recommend proceeding with some caution.