Sandgrounders Sunk By Late Own Goal
Jacques Kpohomouh turned the ball past his own keeper with 4 minutes left to give the Ammies a bank-holiday win
MONDAY 28th AUGUST 2017
VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH
SALFORD CITY 2 SOUTHPORT 1
0-1 Steve JENNINGS (18th min)
1-1 Mani DIESERUVWE (63rd min)
2-1 Jacques KPOHOMOUH (86th min, own-goal)
For the second time over the bank holiday weekend a late own goal won points for Salford City, yet once again they had done enough to deserve the stroke of fortune. Today it was Southport defender Jacques Kpohomouh handing out a late gift as he stooped to chest an 86th minute Richie Allen cross past his owe keeper when there seemed to be relatively little danger.
A first league defeat of the season for the Sandgrounders and these three points push the Ammies up to 3rd place in the National League North table.
Jack Redshaw replaced Mike Phenix to make the first start of his second spell with the Ammies and wing-back Josh Askew found a place on the bench in place of Anthony Dudley.
Another good crowd at Moor Lane on a warm late August afternoon and the home side could have been ahead as early as the 3rd minute. A spell of early Southport pressure came to nothing and after Richie Allen won possession just outside the box he floated a great pass out to the right. Mani Dieseruvwe was the recipient and his low cross found its way through to Redshaw on the far side of the penalty area and 12 yards out from goal. There was a clear view of the target but Redshaw’s low, first-time shot brought a good save out of Iain Turner as the keeper dived to his left to push the ball away. Lois Maynard was closing in but despite a slide he was unable to divert the ball back toward goal and Southport escaped from the close shave with a goal kick.
A good chance for Salford who otherwise had been playing second fiddle possession-wise to their neat passing opponents. Brad Jackson was looking especially dangerous for the Sandgrounders with his movement and jinking runs giving the home defence plenty to do.
To be fair though Southport were not turning promising approach play into chances and it was the Ammies who almost made the breakthrough with 6 minutes played. Again Allen won the ball on the edge of his own penalty area and once more picked out Dieseruvwe’s right-flank run. Another low cross into the box followed but Curtis Jones had anticipated intelligently to get there first and put in an effective clearance.
The Ammies were creating opportunities and another came along in the 10th minute when Dieseruvwe’s pass found Jake Beesley on the right and the wing-back aimed a cross toward the near post. Redshaw almost got there but failed to get a touch on the waist-high delivery and Ibou Touray couldn’t turn the ball back into the danger area from the left. Within another minute Salford won a free-kick on the right after Lois Maynard’s run had been unfairly curtailed by a defender. Touray’s left-footed delivery was a good one, forcing Turner to punch the ball behind for a corner.
Southport’s neat build-ups were easy on the eye but another solid looking defensive performance from the Ammies was keeping them at bay. At the other end there was another chance for the home side as an under pressure Carl Piergianni lofted a cross into the box from the left. Michael Nottingham was underneath that one but had to stretch to get in an 18-yard header that dropped well wide of Turner’s right-hand upright.
There was a goal in the air but when one arrived, in the 18th minute, it went the way of the Sandgrounders. Andy White did well on the left, pushing forward before aiming a cross at the near post. Home keeper Max Crocombe and visiting striker Jack Sampson contested that one but neither made contact and Southport’s Chris Sang picked up the loose ball beyond the far post. Salford’s defence had switched off a little bit and after possession was moved inside via Alex Fletcher on the edge of the box the ball set sat up STEVE JENNINGS to hit a low, angled first-timer from at least 25 yards that beat Crocombe's full-length dive to the right.
A good strike from the Southport man but the Ammies went in search of a quick response. They almost found one within a couple of minutes when Scott Burton lofted a sublime pass from deep into the right-hand side of the box. Beesley’s nicely cushioned header back inside fell for Allen who took a touch into space before hitting a rising 8-yard volley that crashed off the underside of the bar and back into play where it was lumped clear.
That so easily could – and most probably should – have been a first goal of the season for Allen but the chance went begging and Salford were denied a quick leveller.
The Sandgrounders were still playing some good football when given the chance with Jennings, Sampson and Jackson combining before Sang volleyed the dropping ball from right-of-centre. Good approach play but the execution of the shot was way off with the Southport number 11’s effort almost hitting the far-side corner flag.
On the half-hour Touray’s corner from the right dropped beyond the far post for Liam Hogan to get in a header but the looping effort dropped into the raised hands of Turner.
Half a chance certainly, but it ushered in a period of scrappy play and 6 minutes before half-time the injured Sang was replaced by Ethan Jones.
The Ammies went close 4 minutes before the break when Redshaw jockeyed for space on the left, playing a 1:2 with Burton before tucking a pass into the path of Touray. A powerfully hit on-target effort followed from left-of-centre but the ball spun off a defender and out for a corner that came to nothing.
The game’s first yellow card was shown during time added on with Jennings going into the referee’s book for a challenge that brought Allen’s forward run to an inelegant end.
Not the best overall performance from Salford but on a luckier afternoon they could have chalked up 3 goals and on that basis were somewhat unlucky to trail at the interval.
HALF TIME: SALFORD CITY 0 SOUTHPORT 1
Southport had to make another change during half-time with keeper Turner, struggling with a groin injury replaced by Mark Halstead.
The Sandgrounders had edged possession during the first half although most of the chances to score had gone the way of Salford City. The visitors had scored that all important goal however and looked determined to hold onto their advantage when the game got back underway.
The first half-dozen minutes of the new half brought little in the way of attacking joy for Salford so managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley made a couple of changes. Off went wing-backs Touray and Beesley, with Josh Askew and Mike Phenix coming on to replace them. Former Blackburn Rover Askew slotted in at left wing-back with Allen switching across to the right and Redshaw dropping into the hole to accommodate Phenix up front.
Initially the pattern of the game didn’t change much, with the Sandgrounders looking composed, but gradually Salford began to look more threatening. In the 55th minute Burton played a good ball into the box but Dieseruvwe couldn’t keep his header down.
Somewhat out of the blue Southport almost extended their lead a couple of minutes later when former England Under-19 Steven Schumacher delivered a free-kick from between the edge of the area and the touchline. Sampson got there first but under defensive pressure could only direct a header over the crossbar from very close-range.
Askew had been looking lively on Salford’s left since his introduction and on 58 minutes got forward before dropping a cross towards the near post. Curtis Jones was facing his own goal but managed to extend a foot that diverted the ball wide of the far post at the expense of a corner. Askew trotted across to take the set-piece and from his delivery Piergianni got in an 8 yard header that bounced and spun off Adam Dugdale before being claimed by Halstead just inside his left-hand post.
At the other end Jackson burst into the box on the right and pushed the ball past Crocombe only to see a defender step in to clear the danger.
Salford had upped their level of performance and Askew controlled a lofted ball to the left then despite defensive pressure managed to turn a low ball back to Redshaw on the edge of the area. The temptation to shoot must have been considerable but the former Blackpool frontman elected to slip a ball to the right for Dieseruvwe. A quick touch to the right gave the big striker half-a-yard on White and he made the most of it, steering a low effort across the keeper and inside the far post.
A first competitive Ammie goal for Dieseruvwe and it came at just the right time from Salford’s point of view. The impetus was definitely with the home side and Askew was causing more problems for Southport in the 66th minute. Another powerful run on the left was followed by a cut inside into the box before a low shot passed wide of the far post with Phenix not far away from applying a decisive touch as it passed by him.
Within another 60 seconds a tired clearance from Schumacher gave Allen the chance to attack through the centre and having reached the edge of the area he let fly with a low effort that wasn’t too far wide of Halstead’s left-hand post.
With 22 minutes left Southport replaced substitute Ethan Jones with defender Kpohomouh who was, ominously, sporting the number 13 shirt…
The Ammies were still on the front foot and in the 70th minute Allen’s corner from the left found Piergianni’s head but the 10 yard effort dropped wide of Halstead’s left-hand upright. Southport couldn’t be discounted as an attacking force and after Jennings worked hard to create an opening Fletcher hit the dropping ball first time, but his contact was poor and the ball rolled harmlessly wide of Crocombe’s right-hand post.
The game was still finely balanced and with 13 minutes left Schumacher’s corner from the left was met by Kpohomouh whose bullet header was somehow stopped by Nottingham, headed up and away from just in front of the goal-line. The ball went loose and Kpohomouh thumped in a low 18-yarder from right-of-centre that flashed just outside Crocombe’s left-hand upright.
The Southport substitute’s frustration at those two near misses was evident but worse fortune was to follow for him before the afternoon was over.
As the game entered its final 10 minutes Salford looked to apply more attacking pressure another good pass from Burton sent Phenix off on a right wing run. A low ball to the near post followed but Curtis Jones had positioned himself well to clear and when the ball came back in the assistant’s raised flag brought the attack to a conclusion.
It’s probably fair to say that the Ammies had never really fired on all cylinders this afternoon but they had undoubtedly stuck to their task. When balls were lost possession was hunted down again with considerable determination and their tenacity would stand them in good stead. Salford almost snatched the lead with 7 minutes to play when Askew whipped a free-kick from the left into the penalty area. The powerful Piergianni got his head to it and with the ball bouncing around just in front of goal neither he nor any of the red shirts in attendance could nudge home, having to settle instead for a corner.
Askew was booked for a spot of shirt tugging with 5 minutes left and it was beginning to look as if Salford would have to settle for their second draw of the weekend. Fortune had different plans however although there seemed little immediate cause for Southport concern as Allen picked up a touch-back from Phenix then curled a cross from the right into the near post. Kpohomouh, who minutes earlier could have put his side ahead, seemed caught in two minds and ended up stooping to divert the ball off his chest and between Halstead and his left-hand post.
Only Kpohomouh can explain what was in his mind there but the shocked reaction of his team-mates spoke volumes. To their credit however they regrouped sufficiently to push Salford back in the aftermath of that goal and Schumacher’s corner from the left caused defensive confusion until a defender managed to get in a hurried clearance. In the 4th minute of time added on Jackson swung in a cross from the right for Curtis Jones to plant a header towards goal. Former Southport keeper Crocombe managed to stop that one inside his right-hand post, gathering the ball at the second attempt.
FULL TIME: SALFORD CITY 2 SOUTHPORT 1
Not a vintage performance for Salford who started off well but lost their way a little for the rest of the first half. Southport were invited into the game and showed some nice touches yet it was the Ammies who had the major share of what chances were created. After the break, and especially following the double substitution Salford carried much more consistent threat and eventually reaped their reward with a nice finish from Dieseruvwe and a slice of luck as the hapless Kpohomouh contrived to score the most unlikely of own goals.
The Sandgrounders may well feel aggrieved at returning to the coast empty-handed but in truth didn’t do enough to turn possession and promising situations into clear scoring opportunities.
Four bank holiday points that could have been six, but it took two own-goals to actually change the course of the matches. Salford might well play better than this without winning but the side is still gelling and you do get the impression that somebody will cop for a hiding when the sum of the parts finally comes together.
A sixth of the season has been accounted for in a little over 3 weeks and the big games continue to come thick and fast. A derby match at Curzon on Saturday is followed by clashes with currently unbeaten Towns Harrogate and Brackley so there is no opportunity at all to take the collective foot off the gas. After the tough schedule so far however, 16 points from 21 and 3rd place has to be considered satisfactory.
1) Max CROCOMBE
2) Liam Hogan (c)
3) Carl Piergianni
4) Scott Burton
5) Michael Nottingham
6) Lois Maynard
7) Jake Beesley
8) Richie ALLEN
9) Mani DIESERUVWE
10) Jack Redshaw
11) Ibou Touray
12) Tony Aghayere
14) Mark Shelton (for DIESERUVWE, 89th min)
15) Dom McHALE
16) Josh ASKEW (for TOURAY, 51st min)
17) Mike PHENIX (for BEESLEY, 51st min)
Booked: Askew, Phenix
SOUTHPORT (Green and white hoops/green/green):
1) Iain TURNER
2) Bradley JACKSON
3) Andrew WHITE
4) Curtis JONES
5) Adam DUGDALE
6) Dominic SMITH
7) Steven JENNINGS
8) Steven SCHUMACHER
9) Alex FLETCHER
10) Jack SAMPSON
11) Chris SANG
12) Ethan JONES (for SANG, 39th min)
13) Jacques KPOHOMOUH (for Ethan JONES, 68th min)
14) Yves ZAMA
15) Rowan ROACHE
GK) Mark HALSTEAD (for TURNER, half-timr)
Booked: Jennings, White
Referee: Mr. Aaron JACKSON
Assistants: Mr. Paul GRAHAM & Mr. Brian O'SULLIVAN