Three goals in 26 minutes see Southport slip to defeat
A disastrous opening half-hour saw Southport lose their third match of the Vanarama National League season against Macclesfield Town.
The Sandgrounders conceded three times in the first 26 minutes as they slipped to a hugely disappointing defeat at Moss Rose on Tuesday night.
As in the matches against Dagenham & Redbridge and Gateshead, Andy Bishop’s team found themselves on the wrong end of a comprehensive scoreline, as this time they were blown away in the early stages.
Southport arrived in Cheshire having earned their first win of the season on Saturday against Woking.
The Sandgrounders made one change from that game, Jonathan Royle, available for the first time after a suspension carried over from his time at Wrexham, replacing the injured Liam Nolan.
The victory over Woking gave the Sandgrounders a welcome boost but the impetus gained from that result was soon lost.
Danny Whitaker gave the home team the lead after just five minutes – making a run to the near post to steer home Danny Rowe’s low corner – and that set the tone for a calamitous start for Bishop’s side.
Four minutes later, Macclesfield extended their advantage, as Paul Lewis exploited the space afforded to him on the edge on the Southport area to guide a low shot past the dive of goalkeeper Tyrell Belford.
Macclesfield created chances at will, taking full advantage of Southport’s soft underbelly, and every time the home team attacked in the first half they threatened to score.
Rowe was one of the Sandgrounders’ chief tormentors and it was from his corner that Lewis shot over, before an effort from Kingsley James narrowly missed the crossbar after he had cut in from the left wing.
Macclesfield did add a third midway through the half, as James, unchallenged in the centre of the goal, slid in to convert a low right-wing cross from Andy Halls.
Southport’s win against Woking came courtesy of two goals from Louis Almond, and he was responsible for the Sandgrounders’ only moment of promise before half-time, turning neatly before releasing a quick shot, which was turned over by goalkeeper Craig Ross.
By that stage, Macclesfield were in complete control, and although Southport saw more of the play in the second half, the game continued to be played at the home team’s pace.
Josh Thompson should have done better with a far-post header from a Neil Ashton corner, while Connor McCarthy, one of three substitutes introduced shortly after half-time, shot wide from 20 yards.
The game was long since over but Southport’s improved second-half performance saw them score a consolation through Ashley Grimes with six minutes remaining.
Southport (4-4-1-1): Belford, A Jones, White (O’Brien 57), Thompson, Ashton, Allen, G Jones, Royle (Grimes 67), Caton, Almond, Gray (McCarthy 55).
Subs nut used: Crump, Bishop.
Macclesfield Town (4-1-4-1): Ross, Halls, McCombe, Pilkington, Fitzpatrick, Whitaker (Byrne 80), Rowe, Lewis, James, Sampson (Mackreth 79), Holryod.
Subs not used: Branagan, Cowan, Sutherland.
Referee: Karl Evans
Report by Alan Jones
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