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Southport 1 Harriers 0


Date: 09-09-14gif Venue: Merseyrail Community Stadiumgif att: 769gif away fans: 80
Harriers un-beaten run comes to an end at Southport

gif Report by Centreforeword
On a pleasant autumn evening, Harriers made their way to Merseyside and the Merseyrail Community Stadium for this Vanarama Conference head to head.  Whilst the crowd was paltry (a mere 700 or so) the turf was pristine by comparison.

Gary Whild made a notable change in leaving Nathan Blissett on the bench in favour of Reece Styche who hadn't featured in many starting line ups so far this season.  Much to everyone's surprise there was no sign of Michael Gash who seems to be getting a bit of a raw deal from the Harriers management team in the 2014/2015 campaign.  Was there a bust up or was it simply as Matt Wall put it 'Harriers have a very strong squad'? In any event it seemed strange that he didn't even travel to Southport with the team.

The game started well for the boys in all red.  After just a few seconds Craig Reid had a great chance to open the scoring.  A tremendous cross from Marvin Johnson found Reid inside the area and it needed a great save from Daniel Lloyd-Weston to keep the goal-ward header away from its target!

A couple of minutes later the Southport stopper again had to keep out a fierce strike. This time it came from Reece Styche.  The Carpetmen kept up the assault on the Sandgrounders' goal with a great curled effort from Reid on ten minutes which was well blocked by the Southport defence on the goal line.

After that point the home team got more and more into the game.  On fourteen minutes the infamous Richard Brodie drove a shot just wide of Danny Lewis' upright - the Harriers' keeper otherwise soundly beaten.  Then followed wave after wave of attack on the Harriers goal - Southport winning numerous successive corners.

The deserved goal finally came on twenty five minutes when, following a corner with it bouncing around on the Harriers goal line, the ball was finally bundled into the visitors net.  1-0 Southport.

Harriers had a couple of decent chances towards the end of the first half with headers coming in from Reid and Styche but Southport hung on for what was clearly a deserved half time lead.
  HT: 1 - 0
On the preceding Saturday against Gateshead Gary Whild's men seemed to have been given a kick up the backside at half time and came out in the second period with a much improved display.  The same was not however to happen at Southport.

On fifty two minutes Scott Kay met a simple header into the box and his own header was watched on to the post by the visiting defence before being cleared.

The first change for the Harriers then came on fifty four minutes when Jamie Grimes, who had been playing in this much favoured (by the Harriers management) forward midfield position, was withdrawn in favour of the more conventional forward in the form of the towering Nathan Blissett.

Grimes is a useful talent at this level of football but the experiment of playing him behind the Kidderminster frontline has not worked and the Harriers management team now need to hold their hands up, admit it and move on.

This was followed by another change on sixty four minutes when Styche left the arena in favour of Aman Verma.  Styche had battled well and had certainly run his heart out together with being a regular threat on the home side's goal.  The final change was in the seventy seventh minute when Callum Gittings came on for Jack Byrne.

Then on eighty two minutes the Sandgrounders' key attacking threat Richard Brodie received his marching orders.  Having lunged in on Marvin Johnson with a dangerous tackle in the first half, he then let loose an elbow on Josh Gowling in the second.  Two yellows meant a red for the Gateshead born player who even at the tender age of twenty seven has already turned out for no fewer than eight Conference clubs.

Even after Brodie had disappeared down the tunnel the Harriers showed little in the way of meaningful penetration.  Chey Dunkley headed just over the bar and a Verma free kick went close but in truth Harriers posed little in the way of real danger.

Southport meanwhile looked competent and never looked like they were going to relinquish their well earned lead.  Throughout the second half the Harriers tried but their shape and formation let them down.  Instead of the patient build up, there was too much of the long ball tactic.  This was not helped by the lack of presence in midfield - it often looked at times as though Harriers were playing a 5-2-3 formation.

Whild and Mark Creighton now need to re-think their tactics, especially after having scored only one goal in four away games so far this season.
  FT: 1 - 0

 Goal for Southport: Connor 26

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Southport  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Lloyd-Weston     Lewis  
McDonald     Hodgkiss  
Fitzpatrick     Nicholson  
Kay     Storer  
Collins     Dunkley  
Connor gif     Gowling
Evans gif     Byrne gif  
George     Johnson  
Marsden     Reid  
Brodie   Grimes gif  
Brogan gif     Styche gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Hattersley gif - 84     Singh  
Gorman     Obeng  
Rutherford gif - 21 gif     Verma gif - 64  
Smith gif - 71     Gittings gif - 78  
Mitchell     Blissett gif - 55  

Mr R Wrigglesworth
Sth Yorkshire

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