LATE DRAMA SEES SOUTHPORT HESKETH GRAB A POINT
By Tom Bates
Brad Shearwood’s 96th minute screamer gets the first point on the board
Tuesday 7th August, second game of the season, first away fixture for Southport Hesketh as we travelled to Euxton Villa.
With changes being made from Saturday’s defeat to Thornton. Joe Savin was given a debut at the heart of the defence alongside Si Hill as Craig Massam dropped to the bench through injury. Joe Tierney started at right back & David Brooks came into the centre of midfield with Luke Smith. Jack Ledson returned to the squad on the bench alongside Brad Shearwood, Craig Massam & Kyle Bretherton.
The game started with the ball being pinged around like a hot potato by both sides, despite a lovely playing surface which was crying out for football to be played on. With Euxton Villa sewing some long range efforts well held by Liam Buckley, Southport looked as though they would score first, Delial Brewster again causing problems down the right flank and cutting inside only to see his cut backs land to an orange shirt as opposed to a blue one. However, 15 minutes in Brewster this time pulled back onto his left foot, a deep cross found Jon O’Brien back post who headed back across goal for Conor Wright to tap in, only for the linesman to have his flag up for an offside? Bizzare, but the game stayed goalless.
Instead on 30 minutes, it was then Euxton who took the lead, Joe Savin playing the Ball back to Liam Buckley and an awkward few bounces along the way made it difficult for Buckley to control and clear, the Euxton forward nipped the Ball off Buckley and sent a shot goalwards, despite Simon Hill trying to clear off the line, the linesman flagged for a goal. (1-0)
This seemed to give Southport a lift they needed despite being a goal down, began to try and play a little bit more, chances were coming thick and fast and just 7 minutes later, Luke Smith drove forward with the Ball and slipped Conor Wright through who finished first time, left footed past the on rushing Euxton keeper. The linesman again had his flag up, but the Refree overruled his official this time, rightly so! (1-1).
Southport now in the driving seat to half time, Conor Wright again found himself in the penalty area however couldn’t beat the keeper despite Jesse Dowling ready to tap in to an open net. Conor then went close again as he cut inside only for the keeper to save his right footed effort and Conor put the rebound, left footed, past the far post. Half time 1-1.
Second half began with Euxton seeing far more of the Ball. Southport penned in their own half, no football being played and wasteful in possession. With no real clear chances from either team the game became very stop start through fouls and possession restarts. It was the 75th minute when any real life was put into the second half, again sitting deep southport were wasteful in possession, a high cross from the Villa right hand side was met by the first scorer who tapped Home on the volley behind Buckley into the far corner. (2-1)
Brad Shearwood & Jack Ledson then entered the game as Southport switched to a 4-3-3. Being able to push more men forward, a few half chances for Southport went passed from crosses and corners, but nothing to trouble the Euxton keeper too much who only really had a long range effort from Conor Wright to deal with.
With just seconds left, into the 96th minute, a long punt forward from Buckley was chested down by Brewster and Brad Shearwood produced a moment of magic as from all of 35 yards out, spotted the Euxton keeper off his line and first time lifted the Ball high over the keepers’ head to rescue a point for Southport Hesketh. Scenes of relief from the lads on the pitch as well as the dug out. (2-2)
Overall not the most pleasing performance despite always doing relatively well on Euxton’s wonderful pitch. However, another learning curve. As they say, it’s a marathon not a sprint. Taking the positives, we’ve scored goals and got a point on the board which is a starting point. At the end of the game, DH said; “it wasn’t the most pleasing performance but the lads did show great character and determination to battle until the end to earn a point. We know where we have to improve & we can’t be so wasteful in possession again.”
Goalscorers: Conor Wright & Brad Shearwood
MOTM: Joe Savin
We now go into Saturday looking to put all our wrongs, right and get 3 points vs Burscough Richmond.
3pm kick off
Richmond Park, Junction Lane, Burscough, L40 SN.