Match Report - SOUTHPORT

Half Time:

Kettering Town FC: 0

Goals

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions

SOUTHPORT: 0

Goals

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions


Full Time:

Kettering Town FC: 1

Goals

Decarrey Sheriff 45

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions

SOUTHPORT: 0

Goals

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions


Match Report

Southport v Kettering Town

Vanarama National League North

Saturday 2nd April 2022   3:00pm Haig Avenue, Southport 

Southport 

Kettering Town

1

 Cam Mason

 

1

 Jackson Smith

 

2

 Charlie Oliver         

 

2

 Connor Barrett

 

3

 Jack Doyle              

 

3

 Alex Brown

 

5

 Adam Anson   (Capt)            

 

5

 Connor Johnson

 

6

 Doug Tharme

 

6

 Chris Smith

 

8

 Charlie Munro

 Off 11

23

 Liam Daly

 

16

 Dylan Vassallo

 

7

 Callum Stead

 Off 72

8

 Tyler Walton          

 

9

 Gary Stohrer (Capt)

 

18

 Jack Bainbridge

 

11

 Rhys Sharpe

 

14

 Chris Doyle

 

17

 Decarrey Sheriff

 Off 87

15

 Josh Hmami

 

18

 Ty Deacon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Substitutes

 

 

Substitutes

 

4

 Russell Benjamin        

 

4

 Jack Smith

 

7

 Connor Woods

 

10

 Jordon Crawford

 On 72

13

 Tony McMillan

 

13

 George Cooper

 On 87

17

 Niall Watson

 On 11

15

 Saul Milovanovic

 

10

 George Newell

 

13

 Rhys Davies

 

 

Referee: Dale Baines        Assistants:  Jonathan Wyatt and Jacob Green

With Kettering looking to build on their home victory against Chorley the team faced a long trip North to Southport who were currently sitting in the final play-off place 7th in the table. Southport would be looking for revenge as back at the start of February Kettering brought their 14 league game unbeaten run to an end on a Tuesday night at Latimer Park with a deserved 2-1 win despite giving the visitors the lead after 5 minutes. The Kettering squad is gradually coming back together with this game's returnee being George Cooper out since being injured at Boston. He was not risked as a starting option but would bolster a stronger looking subs bench. Joining him on the bench would be Jordon Crawford, still carrying an injury, and Jack Smith with their starting spots taken by Callum Stead and Ty Deacon. Callum would play in an advanced midfield role rather than as an out and out striker.

The day was surprisingly mild after the cold wind experienced over the past few days with little wind and dry. The pitch looked in good condition with some small bare patches in the goalmouths.

Kettering kicked off playing towards the  sparsely populated home end. With both teams cagily sizing up the opposition the first action of note was after five minutes when Connor Johnson made a needless clumsy challenge on Josh Hmami in the middle of the park. This earned Johnson a strict talking to from the referee but no cautions but left the defender in no doubt that next time a card would be produced. Just over five minutes later the game produced it's first goalmouth action. Good inter-passing between Alex Brown and Sheriff wide out on the left wing enabled Decarrey to make enough space for himself to lift the ball into the middle towards the waiting Ty Deacon but to no reward.

Shortly after this Southport were forced to make a substitution as Charlie Munro with no apparent coming together of players went to ground. It was quickly clear that he could not continue and judging by the speed at which his replacement Niall Watson was ready to come on it was a Southport management gamble that didn't pay off.

From the restart further good work from Brown down the left wing saw him deliver a deep cross aimed towards the far post where Connor Barrett was looking to get on the end of it but it was cut out comfortably by Cam Mason in the Southport goal. He didn't look as comfortable three minutes later as a Rhys Sharpe long throw into the penalty area caused all sorts of panic within the Southport defence as the ball pin-balled around a crowded goalmouth with neither side able to apply a definitive touch to either force the ball home or down field with the ball eventually being shepherded back to a grateful Mason.

The game settled down after that with little to report until just before the half-hour mark when Gary Stohrer lost possession inside the Southport half when he was pick-pocketed from behind. This led to a good break down the left by Southport in a 2v2 situation with the other defenders pressing forward. With Liam Daly struggling for pace the two defenders managed to slow the Southport thrust but could not prevent the ball being fed inside to an open forward. Rescue was at hand though as the rapidly returning Alex Brown caught the attacker thinking he had more time than he did and made a great covering tackle at the expense of  Southport's second corner of the game which came to nothing. Four minutes later Southport earned another corner but with the host's having no player of great stature the towering Daly was controlling the aerial space in the Kettering penalty area ably backed up by Jackson Smith who made a couple of positive punches whilst being crowded by the opposition.

As the game entered the final five minutes of the half Kettering again looked to team most likely to open the scoring. A poor clearance from Southport found Sheriff with a shooting opportunity however his effort was blocked by a defender but Stead reacted quickest to gather the rebound and advance goalwards. Mason came out to Callum and forced him wide as the nippy forward rounded the keeper but this made the shooting angle improbable and he was forced to square the ball into the centre of the goal in the hope of a team-mate finishing the job. The home team reacted quickest though and the chance came to nothing. The next minute and Kettering once again asked questions of the home defence as Connor Barrett lifted the ball over the Southport defensive line for Deacon to run onto. Ty at top speed controlled the ball on his chest and was shaping to shoot when the brave Mason threw himself at the forwards feet to smother the ball in a crunching collision which left both players sprawled on the deck. Mr Baines halted play immediately as a serious injury was possible. However after treatment both players were able to continue with play restarting with a drop ball at Mason's feet. This concluded any significant action of the half.

 Half Time:  Southport 0  Kettering Town 0

With everything still to play for neither side made any personnel at half time. Kettering started the second half as they had finished the first on the attack and Connor Barrett forced a corner after a probing run deep into the Southport half. The set piece came to nothing though.

Five minutes into the half and this time Kettering broke down their left wing this time through Stead who beat Tharme for pace on the outside. The defender, who will be playing league football for Blackpool next season, stuck to his task though and as Callum shaped up to cut inside did enough to dispossess him and concede a corner. The corner was delivered deep towards the far post where it was scrambled behind for another corner on the opposite side with claims by the Kettering players and supporters behind the goal for a handball offence which the referee waved away. The follow up corner produced nothing for Kettering but allowed Southport to break quickly with a smooth passing movement. With the majority of the Kettering defence at the wrong end of the pitch the good approach work was let down by the final ball which found the blue shirted  Jackson Smith rather than an yellow shirted forward. Smith held onto the ball long enough for the Kettering defence to reassemble and then launched a precision kick down the right wing towards Barrett swiftly changing defence into attack. Connor skilfully flicked the ball past the covering defender and raced into the acres of open space behind him. He carried the ball forward to some ten yards from the byline before driving a low angled cross across the pitch far enough out to dissuade Mason from coming to collect but the ball evaded both back pedalling defenders and onrushing forwards to emerge the other side of the penalty area untouched with Deacon being the closest red shirt to sealing the deal.

As the game clicked over the hour mark the deadlock was broken. Stead once again showed his pace down the left wing and broke past the defender to the dead ball line where a combination of two defenders converged on him and together muscled him off the ball and to the floor. As he was falling Callum managed to snake out a leg and poke the ball inside where it was collected by Alex Brown who had sprinted forward to offer support. As he was shaping up to deliver the ball further into the danger area he was clattered into by a rapidly retreating midfielder who appeared to be more intent in barging Brown into touch than playing the ball. Unsurprisingly he managed the bowl the Kettering over and into touch but Mr Baines judged it to be in an unfair manner and awarded a penalty. The Southport players contested the decision but it was unclear if they were disputing the foul or the location of the offence which was right on the line of the penalty area. Surprisingly, no yellow card was shown with perhaps the awarding of a penalty deemed sufficient punishment. Decarrey Sheriff took responsibility for the kick, the first awarded to Kettering since the departure of Callum Powell the previous taker. He strode up in a stuttering but confident manner and struck the ball hard and low to Mason's right. The keeper went the right way but the accuracy of the kick was such that he could not prevent the goal. 0-1 Kettering 62 mins

Southport with nothing to lose responded well and looked to become more positive. Alex Brown was guilty of losing possession in the middle of the park after sixty-five minutes and Southport surged forward to exploit the space left the behind the wing-back. The ball was advanced forward and a waist height ball was played into Kettering's penalty area which was cleared behind by a Liam Daly diving header. The resulting corner was successfully defended and the ball cleared but the ball swiftly returned and went out of play for a Southport corner on the open side. The initial kick was then followed with a string of three consecutive corners but none of them caused any degree of concern within the Kettering defence. The final set piece of the sequence was cleared out of the penalty area but fell to Dylan Vassallo who seeing Jackson Smith out of position tried an audacious effort from at least 20 yards hitting the ball with the outside of his foot. The execution did not meet his expectation though and the ball passed harmlessly wide but a shot on target would have tested the capabilities of Smith.

Kettering made their first substitution after seventy-two minutes with Callum Stead making way for Jordon Crawford. A good sign was that the player looked disappointed to be replaced with the deeper role not allowing him to fully implement his undoubted skills but the fresh legs and tenaciousness of Crawford would serve to keep Southport honest at the back.

The first caution of the game occurred on seventy-four minutes when Josh Hmami led with an arm into an aerial challenge with Daly which saw Liam get a hand in his face.

With just under ten minutes of normal time to go Kettering were once again asking questions of the Southport defence with another probe down the right through Barrett. Possession was retained by the red shirts patiently waiting for an opening eventually the ball arrived at Gary Stohrer who tried a half-volley from outside of the penalty area but his dipping shot passed a few feet over the bar. The ball was sent straight up to the other end where Hmami had a shot from distance which wasn't collected cleanly by Smith but was swiftly gathered in before a forward could close.

With Southport battling the clock as well as Kettering they were pushing hard for the equaliser with Kettering conceding more territory as they started to defend deeper and deeper leaving Crawford as the most advanced player harrying Southport at the back and chasing down everything. With less than five minutes to go Jordon chased a clearance out from his defence and was in a foot race with Mason to reach the ball some 20 yards out of his penalty area. Crawford won the chase just but the keeper slid in on his knees ensuring that the forward would be unable to exploit his advantage. Mr Baines saw nothing wrong with the challenge, which if committed by an outfield player would have resulted in a free kick and further admonishment, but a Southport throw was the only decision.

With three minutes to go Kettering made their second substitution with the exhausted Sheriff making way for George Cooper who took up a position sitting in front of the back three. At the normal ninety minutes expired Crawford picked up Kettering's first yellow after chasing a lose ball into touch and somewhat foolishly helped the ball on it's way. He would have been better served and taken up more time by standing his ground to indicate to the referee where the ball actually went out of play and thus prevent the Southport player from stealing yards at the throw which they had been doing all game. A ruse employed in the first half was for the full back Doyle to shape up to take the throw in and advance down the side line until told to stop by the referee and then as the referee turned away hand the ball to long throw specialist Thame who would promptly steal another five yards.

Mr Baines indicated that there would be a minimum of four additional minutes. Those minutes would be full of incident with Southport pushing hard to get something from the game. In the ninety-first minute the ball was loose some ten yards deep in the Southport half. Rhys Sharpe and Doug Tharme raced for the ball. Sharpe by sliding reached the ball first and sent the ball towards the sideline and out of Tharme's reach. Tharme arrived a briefest of moments later and collided with Sharpe a collision instigated by the Southport man who screamed out in pain.  With the home fans in the main stand calling for a red card, a view supported by Southport's manager in a post-match interview, and the Kettering bench, not ten yards from the incident, seeing no offence unless by the Southport player, the referee awarded, as so often in these cases, a free-kick to the player who screamed loudest and to compound his error booked the unfortunate Sharpe who was hit by Tharme.

In the remaining time Southport made two huge penalty appeals but were based more on desperation than on actual incident however Kettering did seem fortunate to escape punishment for clear shirt pull in the dying moments. The swings and roundabouts of fortune appear to be turning Kettering's way.

In the ninety-third minute Connor Barrett had the opportunity to calm everyone's nerves and kill the game off when he broke clear and was presented with a 1v1 with Mason. With him being urged to lift if over the keeper he elected to try and place the ball past the keeper but Mason was equal to it and saved the shot to prolong the tension for a little longer.

The final whistle when it came was a welcome relief to all associated with Kettering Town but in truth Jackson Smith had not been tested all day with Southport generating a lot of pressure but no final product.

  Full Time: Southport 0   Kettering Town 1

A game where Kettering showed their battling spirit. Kettering shaded the first half but the ball would not run for the forwards and the chances which came Kettering's way apart from causing mayhem in the Southport box produced no end result. Southport developed an over reliance on the long throw of Tharme but as they had no big man up front it was easy for Liam Daly to control the air. In the second half Kettering applied pressure on the Southport goal and this resulted in the penalty which decided the game. But in reality neither goalkeeper had to produce a save of any difficulty. As the game progressed Kettering dropped deeper and deeper, they may have bent but did not buckle showing a determination to achieve the desired result. It was amusing to hear in the Southport's manager after match interview with Radio Merseyside complain about the pitch, he must have thought that the game was at Latimer Park.

Kettering Town yellow cards: Sharpe – foul, Crawford – kicking the ball away

Southport yellow cards:  Hmami - foul

Attendance: 830 (91 away fans)

Kettering Town Man-of-the-Match – Liam Daly.


Team Sheet

Location: Away (HAIG AVENUE)
Kick Off: 02nd Apr 2022
Kettering Town FC
RED / BLACK
Captain:
0 Decarrey Sheriff
SOUTHPORT
YELLOW / BLACK
Captain: