On this day in 2014 a resurgent Southport eased their relegation worries by recording their fourth straight home win when struggling Macclesfield Town came to visit.
SOUTHPORT 4 – 1 MACCLESFIELD TOWN
Stadium: Haig Avenue
Referee: R Wigglesworth
Southport Line-Up: Danny Hurst, David Fitzpatrick, Kellen Daly, Toto Nsiala, Luke George, John O’Sullivan, Scott Brown, Karl Ledsham, Danny Hattersley, Yamen Osawe, Jason Walker
Subs: Alex Wimmer (GK), Richard Brodie, Paul Rutherford (Yamen Osawe), Charlie Joyce (John O’Sullivan), Matty Challoner (Karl Ledsham)
Goals: Toto Nsiala, Yamen Osawe, Jason Walker, Danny Hattersley
BBC Sport Reports:
Toto Nsiala headed in Kellen Daly’s cross to put the hosts ahead before Danny Andrew equalised from 25 yards.
Jason Walker put the Sandgrounders back in front as he coolly placed Osayamen Osawe’s cross into the bottom corner.
Osawe grabbed a goal for himself in the second half, slotting home after finding himself in space, and Danny Hattersley added a fourth with a neat chip over the goalkeeper.
Southport manager John Coleman told BBC Radio Merseyside:
“They scored a really good goal to equalise and then they put us under some pressure.
“Give our players their due – they rolled their sleeves up and I thought we played some terrific football in the second half. We were well worthy of our win.”
Southport Visiter (by Alan Jones):
John Coleman saw Southport score four goals in a match for the first time this season – and then said the Sandgrounders’ commitment to attacking football is starting to pay dividends.
Coleman’s side registered an outstanding performance against Macclesfield Town to pick up a fourth straight home win yesterday, lifting themselves three points clear of the relegation zone in the process.
Two goals in either half saw Southport maintain their excellent home record with a tenth win of the campaign at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.
The Sandgrounders’ home form is such that they have now picked up more points on their own ground than two seasons ago when they finished seventh in the Skrill Premier.
But with a hugely-important local derby against fellow relegation contenders Chester on Tuesday night, Coleman believes their week’s work is only half-complete.
“One of the main things we needed to address when I took over was getting goals on the board,” said the Southport manager, who has overseen a continuing improvement since taking charge in December.
“We’ve committed ourselves to a 4-4-2 in order to get more attacking options and we’ve got to be prepared to lose some games in order to do that.
“We were very attack-minded today and if you score goals it gets you out of trouble.
“We withstood some pressure early in the second half but we rolled our sleeves up and went on to play some terrific football.
“We’ve got to set ourselves a standard which we didn’t reach at Woking last week but we’ve achieved it today and that’s why we’ve won.
“All our build-up this week has been about how important the next two games are. Today was the first leg in what we see as being a pivotal week, we’ve won this match and hopefully we’ll get the big one on Tuesday.”
There was much to admire about Southport’s football and, with confidence coursing through their play as the match progressed, they attacked with pace and panache.
Fast starts have been a feature of the Sandgrounders’ recent home form and it took them 13 minutes to take the lead, defender Toto Nsiala getting his head to Kellan Daly’s ball into the box.
The home team played on the front foot from the outset, but no sooner had they taken the lead than Macclesfield were level, Danny Andrew executing a thunderbolt from 30 yards.
But Southport continued show a real attacking appetite which was rewarded with half-time approaching, Jason Walker sweeping up Yamen Osawe’s low centre from the left.
Macclesfield began the second half well but a long-range drive from Paul Turnbull which cannoned against a post was the sum of their efforts.
Instead, Southport turned the screw, Walker hitting the woodwork before Osawe added a third after the excellent John O’Sullivan glided past Turnbull before providing a fine cross.
Osawe and O’Sullivan caused all manner of problems on either wing and Danny Hattersley gave the scoreline extra sheen with a lofted late finish.