Back to back wins for Southport Hesketh
By Tom Bates
Jesse nicks all 3 points in the last minute
This weekend Southport Hesketh entertained Euxton Villa. With the reverse fixture already played this season, it was time for Euxton to come to Bankfield. Last time Southport left it late to equalise through Brad Shearwood’s strike, despite the blues also missing a penalty that game, it finishes 2-2. This time around, Southport were hoping for all 3 points. After last weeks win away at Coppull, we needed another 3 this weekend as we are in Liverpool Cup action next weekend.
With a few lads missing again from last weeks win, more changes were made. Southport Hesketh have only actually kept the same 11 twice this year, which resulted in back to back wins.
Phil Norton, Craig Massam, Ben Jackson, Kyle Bretherton, Jon O’Brien & Jesse Dowling were the only ones who retained their place vs Coppull, with Dan Callaghan, Jimmy Green, Simon Hill, Jack Ledson & Jordan Gregg making up the remainder on the starting 11. Ste Cooke, Ant Walsh & Luke Smith were the subs.
The game started brightly, for the visitors & for the opening 25 minutes where the most dominant team. Euxton wasted 2 good chances from inside the penalty area and Phil Norton also made a great save from a low cross. It was just as well Euxton had zero threat upfront really or Southport may have been a goal or two down by half time. However the back 4 of Ben Jackson, Dan Cally, Craig Massam and Jimmy Green were fairly solid. 25 minutes in Southport actually strung more than 5 passes together, a move which ended up with Jordan Gregg heading wide of the far post. Jordan, Jon & Jack worked hard upfront to close down the Euxton back 5 at every opportunity. This time a long switch of play / pass of the game from Ben Jackson landed and Jordan’s feet and he curled just over the crossbar. A first Southport Hesketh goal was looking more and more likely for Jordan who again then found himself just inside the penalty area, cut inside his man and bend another just shy of the crossbar. Without much further action of the first half, the sides went in at the break 0-0.
The message at half time was simple, keep working hard and we will get our rewards. Euxton were carrying a few and Southport needed to capitalise on their weaknesses.
The second half was a lot more lively in favour of the blues who begun to get stuck in a lot more, win a lot more personal battles and play football. Jesse Dowling, Si Hill & Kyle Bretherton were beginning to get a foothold of the game in midfield and all 3 were at the heart of everything going forward for the home side. Dan Cally won absolutely everything that came in his way and was a rock at the back alongside Craig Massam. Ben Jackson & Jimmy Green were beginning to join a number of the attacks for Southport who were seemingly the side looking more likely to get a goal. Not long after Jack Ledson picked up a yellow card, he was replaced by young Anthony Walsh, who got himself involved straight away, picking up the ball inside his own half and dribbling past 3 orange shirts who all tried a swipe at the lad, before being hurled down by the 4th in a more advanced position for Southport. Luke Smith was then brought on for Jordan Gregg who picked up an arm injury. Luke went on as the focal point upfront to occupy the big Euxton lads at the back. Simon Hill grew into the game a lot more with Luke to pick out upfront and as ever kept everything he done simple and orchestrated the home side midfield. With Euxton not really troubling Phil Norton in goal second half, Southport were beginning to believe more & more that they could win the game. Ste Cooke then came on for another attacking option and replaced the hardworking Jon Obrien. With just 1 minute left of the 90, Ste won a throw in, the long throw was hurled into the area by Ben Jackson, flicked on by Luke Smith and stabbed home from 2 yards by Jesse Dowling. Queue the celebrations as Southport took the lead!
Managing to see the 4 minutes of injury time out by defending well, Southport claimed another win & one they feel they deserved over Euxton Villa as they’ve been very unfortunate in the last few meetings. It was good to see us grind out and battle hard for a victory too. A lot of sides know we can play neat and tidy football, and despite not being at our best today and with more changes to the starting 11, we shown that the bigger hearts and the harder working side will always get their rewards in this league.
Today’s man of the match: Dan Callaghan, who is still available to sponsor & who is looking to be a great signing.
Goalscorer: Jesse Dowling, sponsored by JW Sports Equipment Ltd.