Liam Watson’s 500th game in charge of Southport saw them face promotion pushers Brackley Town.

Southport came into the game off the back of their FA Cup victory over Farsley Celtic.

Both sides started the game slowly, the first action coming when Raul Correia fouled Brackley keeper Danny Lewis who had misjudged a loose ball.

Southport midfielder Jack Doyle lost possession which allowed Brackley striker Lee Ndlovu to have the away sides first attempt of the game, his shot ended up wide of the Southport goal.

The chance set the early precedent for the game with Southport growing into control and letting Brackley have chances through errors.

The first real chance of the game fell from a Southport freekick when the ball that had been over-hit fell to centre back Dean Winnard whose attempted cross forced keeper Danny Lewis to make a save.

An early penalty shout came when Correia went down in the box the appeals were waved off by the referee.

Lewis made a great save to keep the game scoreless as he tipped Correias’ shot on to the post.

As the half drew to a close Brackley came alive. Piling pressure on the Southport goal. Captain Gareth Dean hit the crossbar from a corner, the next corner was headed narrowly wide by Dean again. Southport had gifted him two chances to score and would have been thankful when whistle went for half time.

During half time Southport announced their new signing Marcus Wood. 21-year-old Wood had previously been on loan at the club in 2018. The former Manchester City graduate made his permanent switch from Bradford PA.

Wood signs for Southport
Wood completes his move to Southport

A change at the start of the half saw Andy Parry make way for Jack Doyle. Brackley started the half much like they ended the first.

A corner early in the half causing absolute pandemonium in the Southport box, Thierry Audel had a shot that had to be headed wide by Winnard.

Southport forward Jack Sampson picked up the first yellow card of the game. He had gotten vocal at the referee over decisions that had not gone Southport’s way.

The back and forth football continued with both sides having chances.

Southport got a free-kick that nearly resulted in an own goal, the ball bounced up off of two Brackley players.

The corner that resulted from the free-kick was swung in and Ellis Myles who had stumbled, pushed the ball away with his hands and conceded a penalty.

Southport captain David Morgan took the responsibility and slotted home to make it 1-0 in front of the 1,047 strong crowd.

Southport could have had a second penalty after a cross struck the arm of Brackley left back Connor Franklin the incident was not noticed by either the referee or linesman and play resumed, much to the crowds displeasure.

Brackley seemed to have made a habit of finishing half’s strongly as in the dying moments substitute James Armson was only inches from ruining the perfect 500th game in charge for Liam Watson.

The forward headed over and spurned Brackley’s best chance of a half they had struggled to create chances in.

The game finished 1-0 to Southport who had not let their concentration slip ahead of their FA Cup tie against Altrincham.

The win brings Southport just two points off of the playoffs.