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2014/15 Season Summary

2014/15 Team Photo. Image by Simon Marshall

After the previous season’s gamble on an inexperienced manager had backfired the club sought stability and an experienced head with the permanent appointment of ex Hereford United boss Martin Foyle. It was a shock to supporters that John Coleman had not been appointed beyond the end of the season and it was with a sense of nervousness that fans approached the new season. A mass exodus of the squads most talented players led to an incredibly difficult job. Scott Brown and Toto Nsiala headed to Grimsby, Karl Ledsham moved to Lincoln City and on-load Jason Walker chose hometown club Barrow over a more permanent move to Haig Avenue.

That nervousness was well founded as Foyle struggle get his charges firing. After 14 games had heralded just 3 wins he was summarily dismissed after a 5-2 defeat by Woking. Within days the club had turned to former Sandgrounder Gary Brabin for help.

Brabin had been well thought of as a player, and as caretaker manager previously, despite an unexpected exit to Cambridge who he went on to guide to the brink of promotion before failure in the playoffs. Results and performances improved dramatically helped by a 6 game unbeaten start. The upturn in fortunes was in no small part down to the impressive form of young on-loan goalkeeper David Raya-Martin whom the supporters christened “Spanish Dave”. With Raya-Martin’s heroics came a confidence that filled the rest of the squad. The Sandgrounders climed the table and even battled their way to the FA Cup Third round where they were to face Derby County. Managed by former England manager Steve McLaren and occuying top spot in the championship, the east midlands side had to rely on an injury time penalty to get past the resurgent Yellows.

Shock followed and on the 19th January Gary Brabin resigned to take up a coaching role within the Everton academy, described as “his dream job”. His assistant Paul Carden was quickly given the task of keeping the Sandgrounders in non-leagues top flight.

Poor form crept back in and but for a remarkable month in March Southport would have been relegated. With nearly 40 different players used throughout the season, 5 wins and 5 draws was enough for Paul Carden to ensure survival for another season.

The chairman rewarded him by allowing him to keep the job on a permanent basis.

 

Vanarama Conference 2014/15
# Team Pl W D L F A GD Pts
1 Barnet 46 28 8 10 94 46 48 92
2 Bristol Rovers 46 25 16 5 73 34 39 91
3 Grimsby Town 46 25 11 10 74 40 34 86
4 Eastleigh 46 24 10 12 87 61 26 82
5 Forest Green Rovers * 46 22 16 8 80 54 26 79
6 Macclesfield Town 46 21 15 10 60 46 14 78
7 Woking 46 21 13 12 77 52 25 76
8 Dover 46 19 11 16 69 58 11 68
9 FC Halifax 46 17 15 14 60 54 6 66
10 Gateshead 46 17 15 14 66 62 4 66
11 Wrexham 46 17 15 14 56 52 4 66
12 Chester FC 46 19 6 21 64 76 -12 63
13 Torquay United 46 16 13 17 64 60 4 61
14 Braintree Town 46 18 5 23 56 57 -1 59
15 Lincoln City 46 16 10 20 62 71 -9 58
16 Kidderminster Harriers 46 15 12 19 51 60 -9 57
17 Altrincham 46 16 8 22 54 73 -19 56
18 Aldershot Town 46 14 11 21 51 61 -10 53
19 Southport 46 13 12 21 47 72 -25 51
20 Welling United 46 11 12 23 52 73 -21 45
21 Alfreton Town 46 12 9 25 49 90 -41 45
22 Dartford 46 8 15 23 44 74 -30 39
23 AFC Telford United * 46 10 9 27 58 84 -26 36
24 Nuneaton 46 10 9 27 38 76 -38 36

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