REPORT | Southport 6 - 0 Clitheroe
By Peter Ryan
Southport cruise through.
With nine of Saturday’s first team squad in their sixteen, it was always clear that full-time Southport would provide a stern test for the Blues. Add to that the huge, carpet like pitch, pacy opponents and the occasional self-destruct button as we tried to hit 40 yard passes ourselves, then a 0-6 defeat was no huge surprise.
From the outset, Southport were champing at the bit. Using both flanks, they had a clear chance go begging from either side within the first three minutes, although it took until 18 minutes for the first goal to register.
After great work down the right from a winger, who was a thorn in the side all night, weak defending allowed the ball to fall to a well placed forward. Cameron Terry made a superb instinctive stop but could not keep out the rebound.
Clitheroe’s best chance of the half came one minute later as after great interplay, and with a strong hint of a penalty claim for Antoine Recizac, Jacob Gregory crashed the ball across the box against the inside of the far post, before it nestled in the arms of a bemused keeper. However, Southport’s pace was proving irresistible and on 27 minutes, Terry made a great save from a central free kick, but one minute later from a left footed cross from the right, a tremendous glancing header made it 0-2 on the night.
Still Southport came and within in a minute had another after a burst down the right saw a deep cross and an unmarked header. Two further minutes later, another low cross from the right was steered home. 0-4. Clitheroe steadied themselves and kept the scoreline till the end of the half, with Max Hazeldine even having a good, rasping shot from distance.
The second half was more even, but within the first 10 minutes the travelling fans feared the worst as firstly Josh Snowdon sliced in an own goal from a free kick, before on 53 minutes Terry unusually couldn’t hold the greasy ball and the rebound was gobbled up. Jonah Gosling and Harry Cannon-Noren were brought on to inject pace and urgency and on 56 minutes, Gosling hit the bar from distance.
Hazeldine then had two chances to reward his all action display, with a great shot on 72 minutes and then hitting the post two minutes later.
Clitheroe will not meet any teams this good in their own league, but it gave the lads a benchmark of where they need to be if they want to progress.
Team : Cameron Terry, Jacob Gregory (c), Stephen Rigby, Derek Ubah, Josh Snowden, Hyuga Tanner (Harry Cannon-Noren), Josh Gregory, Andreas Bianga, Henry Limpitshi-Bongwanga (Jonah Gosling), Max Hazeldine, Antoine Recizac (James Boyd). Subs - Harry Cannon-Noren, Jonah Gosling, James Boyd. Not used - Jay Jeffries, Lewis Sugden.