Southport 0-1 Forest Green Rovers
Photo: A disappointed Chairman, Charlie Clapham
Forest Green Rovers returned to the top of the National League table thanks to Kurtis Guthrie’s dramatic late goal at the Merseyrail Community Stadium against in form Southport, writes Richard Joyce.
The 22 year old striker swept home in the most climactic of finishes to make it five wins in a row in a truly gruelling encounter.
Horrendous conditions throughout turned what was a football match between two sides with excellent recent records, into a battle full of grit, fight and desire.
Southport have been re-energised since the appointment of Dino Maamria as their new manager.
But they saw their brilliant unbeaten run ended by a Ady Pennock side who recorded their third consecutive clean sheet, and who are riding high on confidence.
In truth it was the Sandgrounders who performed best in the early stages, as the pitch deteriorated quickly under the constant falling rain.
However they couldn’t work any real openings to test Steve Arnold, despite their inventiveness from set piece situations.
Jon Parkin snapped up the opportunity to force Rovers first real opening on goal on the half hour mark, however his free kick never threatened Max Crocombe’s goal.
The conditions continued to offer challenges to both sides, and after the interval Parkin produced an early strike on goal, which Oxford United loanee Crocombe was equal to.
Down the other end Arnold then made a fine stop to prevent Louis Almond from opening the scoring after he had been left with too much room in the box.
The save of the night though would fall to Crocombe only a couple of minutes later, as he denied what looked to be near enough the opener.
Parkin looked to have turned a pass into the box past the New Zealand youth international, only for him to produce a wonderful save diving to his left.
After Arnold had again saved well from Paul Rutherford, and Keanu Marsh-Brown had skied over in an FGR foray forward, suddenly a point on a torrential night on Merseyside would have represented an impressive effort. Guthrie though had other ideas.
Thrown on as a substitute with just over five minutes left on the clock, he slammed home to seal the most memorable of victories.
James Jennings’ shot from distance was parried by Crocombe, and Guthrie was on hand to thunder the ball into the back of the net via the crossbar.
It was an awesome moment to wrap up another marvellous win for Pennock’s charges, who’ll be desperate to extend their winning run when Macclesfield Town visit The New Lawn on Saturday.
Report: Richard Joyce
25Crocombe, 2Challoner, 6Foster, 11JonesSubstituted forRyanat 90+3′minutes, 12Blakeman, 5Thompson, 22PhenixSubstituted forJonesat 80′minutes, 4Nolan, 16Rutherford, 17Almond, 7AllenSubstituted forMcCarthyat 78′minutes
15McCarthy, 18Jones, 19Viscosi, 24Ryan 26Grimshaw
1Arnold, 6Bennett, 14Moore, 9Marsh-Brown, 3Jennings, 8WedgburyBooked at 27mins, 19Sinclair Substituted forPipeat 90+2′minutes4Clough, ,20ParkinBooked at 70minsSubstituted forGuthrieat 83′minutes, 24CarterSubstituted forWilliamsat 77′minutes, 11Frear
2Pipe, 10Kelly, 17Guthrie, 18Cooper, 26Williams
Referee: Ollie Yates
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