Preview: Southport Are No Mugs But Nor Are Imps
Southport FC may have lost 1-4 to Tamworth FC and drawn 2-2 with Welling UTD but they are organised with pace, power and determination. The Sandgrounders are another big part time team who will come here to get a scalp and love every minute on the Sincil stage, but they do not travel well and Lincoln are once bitten and twice shy after Salisbury.
Tuesday 17th September KO 19.45
Wright started off with 4-3-3 beating Luton and then Hyde to top the table. A 3-1 defeat at Nuneaton – who let us be honest have surprised everyone except canny Wilkin – saw him adopt Simmo’s 4-2-3-1 with varying degrees of success. Wright has learned under some terrific managers at Villa, Blackpool and Blackburn, a premiership left-back by trade he is no mug. He loves flying full-backs and, although the Sandgrounders are well organised defensively, that will play into the Imps counter attacking game.
Full-backs Challoner and Fitzpatrick love to get forward with the latter bagging 3 assists to the formers 1 already this season. Osawe (from Blackburn) has electric pace and can cut inside to devastating effect, the youngster has scored in consecutive games. Hattersley is also up and running and keeping Tame out of the side. Hattersley and Leadsham have bagged two along with Osawe but Milligan, Chalmers and Almond (just in the hole) are also a goal threat. The Sandgrounders can therefore get goals from all over the park, but they can also concede them.
The back four will struggle against the Imps. Flynn, especially, with 4 of the teams 7 yellows this season, he and Tomlinson’s duel is bound to end in tears. George will also have a busy one trying to cope with Power and Rowe coming through. Challoner would too against Wright but one feels Sheridan could get the nod to ensure he does not add to his assists tally tomorrow night. Brown and Milligan work hard but they really do blow hot and cold when it comes to covering the back four. But then their faux pas seem inconsequential when Chalmers, Almond and Osawe are in full flow.
Wright goes 4-2-3-1
12 Challoner 5 Flynn 18 George 20 Fitzpatrick
6 Brown 8 Miiligan
7 Chalmers 11 Almond 21 Osawe
|Formation||4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1|
|Position 2012/13||20th in BSP|
|STMI Forecast||top 8|
Heroes & Villains
|Home / Away|
The Summer plans
When Liam Watson left the club in mid April ‘for a break’ his announcement as Telford Boss on May 3rd suggested there may be a story and a storm brewing. So far he has signed 9 former players who have played under him at one time or another for the Sandgrounders. He has certainly got the cheque book out in a bid for immediate promotion, yet, in reality, he has taken the heart of a failing team that fell away to miss relegation by one place and by the narrowest of margins.
He has inadvertently done his replacement, Alan Wright, the former Aston Villa defender and legend a favour. Though tipped by many to struggle, he has worked under Martin Foyle at Northwich Victoria, run the Blackpool centre of Excellence, has a wealth of contacts in the game and has a great grounding in coaching having also played at the highest level under some terrific management teams. He is not your typical ex-pro manager and is an astute tactician and thinker.
Wright’s signings do look to be a great use of a bottom third budget for the division. As a former defender one would expect him to start from the back. Danny Hurst was a decent keeper at Barrow despite relegation. Defenders Challoner (Blackpool) and Fitzpatrick (New Mills) and free agent Matt Flynn are wise acquisitions. Luke George can play in defence or midfield and was pulling up roses at Stafford Rangers.
Jamie Milligan from his ex-club Fleetwood is a steadying influence in the middle as is Rutherford from Barrow. Another new midfielder, Scott Brown, helped Chester to promotion and ex manager Neil Young stated that “his attitude and professionalism was an example to others”. Striker Danny Hattersley arrives from Stockport and he will be some force up front with Steven Tames or Osayamen Osawe in on the eve of the season from Blackburn Rovers.
The managers ascent to greatness is in no way guaranteed, as there are questions over day to day man management skills, fire-fighting the inevitable injury outbreaks and the bedding in of the side; but Watson’s departure could well be a blessing in disguise for a decent prospect and one of the country’s top amateur clubs. With Luton as the opener the Sandgrounders could surprise a few from day one.
|28th June||Danny Hattersley||Stockport||For|
|25th June||Jamie Milligan||Fleetwood||Mid|
|25th June||Paul Rutherford||Barrow||Mid|
|17th May||Danny Hurst||Barrow||Keeper|
|2nd July||Luke George||Stafford Rangers||Def/Mid||Free|
|13th July||Scott Brown||Chester||Mid|
|13th July||Matt Flynn||Free agent||Def|
|25th July||Matt Challoner||Blackpool||Def|
|26th July||David Fitzpatrick||New Mills||Def|
|8th August||Osayamen Osawa||Blackburn||Striker|
|July||Alan Moogan||AFC Telford|
|July||Russell Benjamin||AFC Telford|
|June||Simon Grand||AFC Telford|
|June||Neil Byrne||AFC Telford|
|June||Chris Lever||AFC Telford|
Southport 2013/14 Squad
Keepers Danny Hurst, Dave Stevenson Defenders 2 James Smith, 4 Steven Akrigg, 17 Chris Lynch, 23 Liam Willis, Matt Challoner, Luke George, Matthew Flynn, David Fitzpatrick Midfield 7 Aaron Chalmers, 10 Karl Ledsham, 11 Chris Almond, 20 Charlie Joyce, Paul Rutherford, Jamie Milligan, Scott Brown Forwards 9 Steven Tames, 19 Danny Hattersley 21 Osayamen Osawe