The 2007/08 season saw the club stay full time, a decision which came as a welcome
surprise and one which saw us installed as one of the favourites. We started the
season with a bang and were top after day one. It was to be the only time we did
hit the top though! Never out of the top seven we were always looking likely to
be in the play offs but very rarely looked like getting the automatic promotion
place. Poor home form was largely responsible for that with far too many draws.
There were some sparkling away showings with the highlights being a tremendous
5-1 win at AFC Telford and an excellent 2-0 win at Nuneaton Borough. Davenport
was sacked after a disastrous showing at Solihull Moors which saw us lose 4-1.
There were just five games to go and most supporters, particularly those who had
been to Solihull, had given up hope of even reaching the play offs, all was not
well! The inspired appointment of Gary Brabin until the end of the season saw
us lose his first game in charge against already crowned champions, Kettering
1-0, but the remaining four games were won, we needed to win our last game at
Vauxhall to ensure a play off place, and it was Stalybridge Celtic in our first
ever venture into play off territory. Considering our poor home form, playing
away in the second leg was what we all wished for. However it was a great home
showing when a 1-0 victory was the least we deserved. The town responded well
and three coaches were organised by Trust In Yellow for the trip to Stalybridge
with everyone in high spirits and over 500 fans made the trip. Celtic went 2-0
up and all looked lost but a late own goal saw the game go in to extra time. No
further goals and it was penalties where it was heartbreak time, particularly
for Liam Blakeman who was the one to miss the penalty and we went down 5-3 to
ensure we had another season in Conference North.
Tony Gray broke a club record when he scored in eight consecutive league games. He did actually score in ten consecutive games if you include Lancashire Junior Cup matches. Talking of the Lancashire Junior Cup we won it 4-1 against Chorley at Leyland. The sixth time we had won it in our thirty seasons.
Our thirty first season will be spent in The Blue Square Conference North.
Source: The Complete Non-League History of Southport Football Club 1978 - 2008, by Trust in Yellow (Legends Publishing, 2008). ISBN 978-1-906796-01-3