REPORT | Heavy Defeat
It was a bad start to the New Year as Port lost 4-0 against Chester with goals from Simon Grand and Anthony Dudley and a brace from Akwasi Asante.
The visitors had started well enough as Devarn Green broke down the left wing in the seventh minute with pace, beating his marker but crossed straight Grand who managed to clear.
Just two minutes later, Reagan Ogle, returning to the starting line-up, dribbled through the middle of the Chester defence before sliding the ball across to Sampson who seemed to be through on goal but Chester goalkeeper Russ Griffiths sniffed out the danger and shot off his line to collect the ball at the feet of Jack Sampson.
From that Chester launched a quick counter-attack that led to their first chance of the game as Asante shot from outside the box but it was straight down the throat of goalkeeper Charlie Albinson who collected with ease.
Chester had another chance after 11 minutes as a cross into the box by Brad Jackson was flicked on by Asante but his header went just wide of the post with Albinson scrambling to cover.
Things got even worse for Southport in the 13th minutes as Jack Doyle was forced off through injury. The left-back came off clutching the back of his leg and while it istoo soon to know the severity but the fact he managed to walk off is a promising sign.
Southport’s next chance came in the 25th minute as Devarn Green beat Waters on the right wing before sliding it across to David Morgan. The captain played it across the box for Homson-Smith who sliced his shot high and wide.
Just a minute later there was another chance for Chester. Jackson cut in from the left wing before firing a shot from the edge of the penalty box. Albinson got down to make the initial save and managed to keep hold of the ball with Asante waiting to pounce.
In the 36th minute Chester had another chance as Matty Hughes cut inside from the right before playing a 1-2 with Asante and getting a shot away at the edge of the box that was deflected behind for a corner.
But Port’s luck couldn’t hold out forever and from the resultant corner Chester broke the deadlock. Chester surrounded the goalkeeper before the corner and when Albinson attempted to push his way out he failed to make contact and Simon Grand turned in a header at the back post.
Port had a chance to pull even before half time as Homson-Smith fired in a free kick from the right that evaded all the players in the box and forced a save out of Griffiths.
The half-time whistle came at a bad time for Port who seemed to finally be carving out chances.
But when the sides reappeared for the second half it was Chester that started the brighter, taking only two minutes to add to their lead.
Jackson’s shot from the edge of the box was palmed into the path of Asante who poked in the home side’s second.
Chester had a chance to make it three in the 57th minute as a through ball put Asante through one-on-one but he tried to round Albinson who recovered well after slipping to save well and put it behind for a corner.
But they would make it three from that corner as Southport were only able to clear as far as Anthony Dudley who fired a long range shot that left Albinson rooted to the spot.
Chester rattled the bottom of the post in the 62nd minute as Brad Jackson fired a shot from 25 yards.
Chester were through on goal in the 68th minute as Asante squirmed his way between Astles and Winnard but the centre back pairing did enough to force the striker out wide before he laid it off to Jones who fired into the side netting.
There was a chance for Southport in the 69th minute as a ball was curled into the box by Green and Mohammed rose highest to meet the ball but headed it straight at Griffiths.
Chester made it four in the 71st minute as Asante turned in the box and managed to squeeze away a shot that snuck into the corner of the goal on Albinson’s right.
There was a scramble in the penalty box from a Chester corner in the 77th minute as Charlie Oliver cleared a Chester header off the line and Albinson makes a save from the follow up before it is cleared by Winnard.
Chester: Griffiths, Roberts, Waters, Roberts (Ngwatala 75), Jones, Grand, Jackson (Waring 83), Stopforth, Asante, Hughes (Elliott 78), Dudley.
Subs not used:Morgan, Taylor.
Southport: Albinson, Mohammed, Doyle (Homson-Smith 13), Winnard, Astles, Morgan (Oliver 59), Benjamin, Wood (Oliver 59), Green, Sampson, Ogle.
Subs: Woods, Bauress.
Written by James Houghton