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MATCH REPORT | Southport 3-0 Chorley

Chorley came unstuck on a miserable New Year’s afternoon in Southport as the hosts scrapped out a flattering 3-0 victory for their first home win in four months.

David Morgan’s 20th minute strike was added to by Nathan Sheron and Jack Sampson late on as the Magpies once again created plenty of chances against the struggled Sandgrounders, but couldn’t make their superiority count.

Matt Jansen made two changes to the side that drew 0-0 in the reverse fixture on Boxing Day. Stephen Jordan returned to make up a back three in place of Dale Whitham, and Jake Cottrell replaced Matty Hughes in midfield. Southport were unchanged.

Chorley started with real intent as they tried to take advantage of a nervy-looking home defence. Four successive corners produced three blocked efforts from Josh O’Keefe, Scott Leather and Nick Haughton, before Jason Walker volleyed just over. Marcus Carver pounced on a defensive lapse from Billy Priestley but prodded wide with Jon Worsnop closing in, and a Cottrell cross-shot from a raking ball by Haughton was deflected past an onrushing Walker.

It looked only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken, unfortunately after Scott Leather and Adam Blakeman both limped off it was the Sandgrounders who opened the scoring. On one of their first meaningful attacks Josh Hine collected an overhit cross and teed up Morgan to fire home across Matt Urwin from the edge of the area.

The Magpies responded with efforts from Haughton, who had an effort cleared off the line after outrunning Southport’s backline, and an Andy Teague header from a corner. By this point the weather was playing havoc with the ball and playing surface, which explains how the home side’s leading scorer Jason Gilchrist scuffed wide with the goal gapping.

By the time the second half got underway the wind and rain had dropped a little, but the pitch continued to prove testing. Teague had the best effort in a lacklustre opening 10 minutes, firing over following a scrambled corner. Southport, using the marginal wind to their advantage, countered with a Jordan Hallam effort, but both teams continued to battle with the conditions.

Sub Dan Mooney shot wide from distance, and Josh O’Keefe hit the bar with a header, as Chorley tried to force an equaliser. But with the clock winding down,Sheron blocked Matt Challoner’s attempted clearance on the halfway line, ran in on goal, and beat Urwin to end the tie as a contest.

Former Magpie Sampson’s last-minute tap in from a yard out added insult to injury.

Southport (4-1-2-3): Worsnop; Sheron, D.Smith, Priestley, Richards; Lynch (c); Hallam, Morgan; Hine, Gilchrist (C.Smith, 81), Sampson. Subs not used: Howson, Jackson, Kpohomouh, Lowe.

Chorley (5-3-2): Urwin; Challoner, Leather (Anson, 8), Teague (c), Jordan, Blakeman (Hughes, 12); O’Keefe, Cottrell; Haughton; Walker (Mooney, 75), Carver. Subs not used: Roscoe, Whitham.

HT 1-0/FT 3-0

Goals: Morgan (20), Sheron (85), Sampson (90)

Bookings: Priestley (foul, 66)

Red cards: None

Attendance: 1,309 (414 away)

Referee: Martin Woods

Assistants: Scott Taylor & Thomas Swift

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