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First Team - Match centre

Blackpool Wren Rovers
Southport Hesketh
Sat 15 Sep 15:00 - The West Lancashire Football League - Premier Division Full time

Cruel 1-0 defeat away from home

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Not quite enough to see us ‘over the line...’

Southport Hesketh travelled to Blackpool to face Wren Rovers for the second time already this season. With the first fixture being a 2-1 win for Southport, the blues were looking for the same kind of result again today. With a lot of lads missing, Southport signed on and gave debuts to Phil Norton between the sticks and Dan Callaghan who came in at centre half alongside Ben Jackson as Craig Massam shuffled to left back. Jon O’Brien played in an un-natural right back position, as Brad Shearwood came into midfield alongside Luke Smith & Jesse Dowling. Paul Garrett was the focal point upfront with Conor Wright and Jordan Gregg either side. Kyle Bretherton, Max Sansum & Ste Cooke the only subs available.
The game started bright for Southport Hesketh and the first sight at goal came when a free kick was put into the area and Luke Smith nodded down for Conor Wright who seen a half volley just curl away from the near post. The game was always going to be a battle in midfield and the 3 inside we’re doing very well against a physical Blackpool side. Blackpool did have a couple of consecutive corners where they may have found the net, only for good defending from Southport. Dan Callaghan looked very comfortable alongside Ben Jackson at the heart of defence who both coped with the big number 9 very well. Halfway through the first half, a Southport corner was swung in and Dan Callaghan rose highest and his header was over the line, and headed back out by a Blackpool defender. With only half hearted claims for a goal, the referee waved play on despite the Wren Rovers players even admitting the ball was over the line. A couple of long range efforts from Brad Shearwood went close too and Southport may have felt that they should have been at least 1 up going into half time.
The second half was a little better from the home side, who battled a lot more than the first. Southport begun to tire as the half went on. Conor Wright picked up a knee injury and Kyle Bretherton came on in his place, moving Jesse Dowling upfront. Again another battling 45 minutes between both sides without any major clear cut chances. Southport were playing the better football with the ball compared to their last 2 outings but the end product was not enough to trouble the keeper. Max Sansum then came on for Jordan Gregg with 15 minutes to go. Shortly after this, the ball was given away in midfield and in fight to win the ball back a ricochet saw the ball roll through to the Blackpool new signing for the day who was able to finish past Phil Norton despite getting a hand to it. A cruel goal to concede after playing so well for the best part of 80 minutes.
Without any more clear cut chances coming for either side, Southport felt they were very unlucky and unfortunate today to lose 1-0.
It’s always a good game of football to watch when these 2 sides meet, and although there has been some high scoring results in recent fixtures it’s because of the quality of football. The most frustrating part of the season can be how the officials now like to make a big part of the game, their spotlight. However, as mentioned in the changing rooms, today we could be proud of our efforts, although not picking up a point, there were a lot of positives as mentioned earlier; in comparison to our previous 2 games. Next week we face Coppull away and need another big performance. Needing a run of games where we pick up 3 points in each game moving forward, to climb us back up the table. There are a lot of teams above us who, looking at it, shouldn’t be. But, our game management needs to improve as we have threw games away already this season.
Today’s man of the match was a tough one to pick as so many lads played well. Lads playing in unfamiliar positions & new lads coming into the team, however Paul Garrett probably just edged it with his work rate and link up play.

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Team selection

Obrien, Jon Obrien, Jon
Massam, Craig Massam, Craig
Garrett, Paul Garrett, Paul
Jackson, Ben Jackson, Ben
Shearwood, Brad Shearwood, Brad
Smith, Luke Smith, Luke
Gregg, Jordan Gregg, Jordan
Dowling, Jesse Dowling, Jesse
Wright, Conor Wright, Conor

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