Southport were left feeling frustrated following their 1-0 home defeat to Farsley Celtic as fans returned to the Pure Stadium for the first time on Wednesday night.
The first half presented plenty of opportunities, with the away side having the first chance in the second minute. Farsley striker James Spencer unable was to connect with a cross after being left unmarked in the area.
Just four minutes later the Celts hit the cross bar with a William Hayhurst flick, showing the fragilities of the Southport defence. The opening goal of the game came 13 minutes in as a fast-paced passing move left Luke Parkin running onto a ball in the box and the forward slotted the ball between Dan Hanford’s legs.
Russell Benjamin managed to stop the away side from doubling their lead with a superb goal-line clearance from a sloppy corner after Hanford spilt the ball in the six-yard box, but Hanford quickly made up for it with a good reflex save from a Luke Parkin header.
Farsley defender, David Syers, was lucky to escape a booking following a collision with Marcus Carver just outside the visitors’ area. David Morgan was unable to make the most of the set piece, only managing to hit the wall from 20 yards out.
Carver had a good chance on the 34-minute mark as he hits a half volley just wide of the far post. Quickly after Jordan Archer played Dylan Vassallo through for a one-on-one but could only hit a weak shot at the keeper.
Both teams went into half time having had good chances, but it was the away side who made them count. Southport came out from the break with a renewed sense of urgency and after George Newell replaced Archer at the break, the substitute breathed a new lease of life into the Yellows.
Niall Watson was brought on for Vassallo 15 minutes into the second half and brought more energy to the attacking line, but Southport couldn’t turn their dominance into a goal. The final substitute, Connor Woods, played in Marcus Carver but the number 11 summed up the Yellows’ evening when he was unable to get his shot on target from a tight angle.
With eight minutes remaining, Woods looked as though he was brought down in the Farsley area by Hayhurst but the referee, Ed Duckworth, waved away protests from both players and fans.
As the referee blew the whistle, there was disappointment amongst fans and players alike. The night will be remembered for the great efforts the club has made in getting fans back, but they were unable to get the result they wanted.
Written by Ben Roberts-Haslam