A George Newell double was not enough for Southport as they drew 3-3 against Bradford Park Avenue at the Pure Stadium.
Despite the Port striker continuing his great scoring form it was not enough for Liam Watson’s side to claim three points against the bottom placed side in the Vanarama National League North table.
With conditions tough to play in, the Port had more than one nervous moments against Mark Bower’s spirited side and could’ve even lost against a team who have only won three times all season.
Connor Woods came close to getting the opener just after the ten-minutes of action, as the Port winger put a long ranged free-kick just wide of the left post, with the keeper looking untroubled.
Moments later, the deadlock was broken, as Bradford scored from the most unexpected of set-pieces, as a Lewis Knight corner sailed over the head of Dan Hanford to go in off the back post to make it 0-1.
Southport instantly set about pulling back level, with both Ryan Astles and Jack Sampson having efforts blocked in the box.
Meanwhile Park Avenue also had opportunities to score, with a last-ditch tackle from Ryan Astles needed to stop Tom Clare from running through, with the centre back recovering from his own mistake.
Knight also came close to getting a second, as a swirling volley from the edge of the box landed on the roof of the goal.
With a minute left of the first half, Southport levelled the scores, as George Newell headed in from point blank range after Dean Winnard nodded on a long throw in from Reagan Ogle right into the striker’s path.
Three minutes after the break, Bradford were back ahead, as Tom Clare left the defenders behind with a great turn in the box, before slotting past Hanford into the top right corner.
The Port weren’t behind for long, as Morgan pulled the ball back to Brad Bauress, who put the ball past the keeper to make it 2-2.
Liam Watson’s side completely turned the game on its head in the 65th minute as they took the lead for the first time.
After scoring in the first half, Newell added bagged a second, as he jumped up to get onto the end of a cross by Astles to head into the bottom left corner, leaving the keeper helpless.
The striker came close on two occasions to bagging his hat-trick, but put both efforts wide of the target.
Meanwhile Woods, who was celebrating his birthday, had an opportunity to add his name to the scoresheet, but hit over the bar.
Meanwhile Newell had another chance to bag his third, but Tom Nicholson in goal stood strong and saved with his foot.
Southport were made to rue not taking those opportunities as they were pegged back with seven minutes remaining, as former Sandgrounder Billy Priestley headed in an equaliser at the back post to level the scores at 3-3.
The visitors could’ve won it, as the ball fell to Knight in the box, but the striker skewed it wide of the left post.
Then on the 90-minute mark, Bradford had their numbers reduced as Stelios Pemetriou was shown a straight red for taking down Newell who was through on goal.
Debutant Jack Dunn stood over the resulting free-kick but shot straight into the hands of the keeper.
The last clear chance of the game fell to the Avenue, as Clare hit the outside of the right post as the game finished 3-3.
Southport FC: Dan Hanford, Reagan Ogle, Jack Doyle (45’), Dean Winnard, Ryan Astles, David Morgan, Russell Benjamin, Connor Woods (88’), George Newell, Jack Sampson, Brad Bauress.
Substitutes: Charlie Oliver (45’), Jack Dunn (88’).
Unused subs: Andrew Parry, Zehn Mohammed, Charlie Albinson.
Goals: Newell (45,’ 65’), Bauress (51’)
Bradford Park Avenue: Tom Nicholson, Ryan Toulson, Stelios Pemetriou, Adam Nowakowski (71’), Liam Hughes, Billy Priestley, Ryan Hall (74’), Jake Hibbs, Tom Clare, Lewis Knight (90’), Nicky Clare.
Substitutes: Oli Johnson (71’), Alex Hurst (74’), Mitch Lund (90’).
Unused Subs: Joe Green.
Goals: Knight (12’), Clare (48’), Priestley (84′)
Yellow Cards: Clee (10’)
Red Card: Pemetriou (90’)
Written by Amos Wynn