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Southport: Preview

Posted by Kelly Gilchrist
Posted on Sun 20 Apr 2014
Posted in First Team

A victory for FC Halifax Town will consolidate their place in the play-offs as a win for Southport will maintain their Skrill Premier status.

The last time Halifax visited this part of Merseyside was a touch over seven years ago, as both sides succumbed to a midweek stalemate on that occasion. Nevertheless with the hosts boasting a majestic home record of 12 wins and five draws in 22 matches at The Merseyrail Community Stadium, The Shaymen must be on their mettle to grab the spoils.

After overriding a series of jitters in the latest victory at The Shay, FC Halifax prevailed 2-1 over Macclesfield Town who played with spirit and fluidity in possession. Centre-back duo Marc Roberts and Chris Smith grabbed goals number five and two respectively for the season.

With James Bolton ineligible to figure against his parental club (Macclesfield Town), the loanee is expected to be drafted back into the starting line-up in place of Simon Ainge, who diligently deputised at right-back in the win over Macclesfield. More worryingly for Neil Aspin is Lee Gregory’s current fitness, after passing a late fitness test to play 88 minutes last Saturday, Gregory is rated as 70% likely to start at Southport due to a calf strain. Making former Southend United forward Scott Spencer the obvious candidate to be promoted from the bench to spearhead the attack.

Nonetheless during the team’s ten match unbeaten run, barring the contribution of Gregory there have been seven different goalscorers, underlining that the scoring burden is being shared. Moreover the ten match unbeaten run has accumulated 20 goals at the cost of just two.

Meanwhile The Yellows, picked up only their ninth point on the road this term, thanks to a wholehearted display at Gateshead which ended in a 2-2 draw. Having attained 13 points from a possible 30, former Rochdale manager John Coleman knows that his side can shape their own survival fortunes by winning their final league game of the season at The Merseyrail Community Stadium.

After being appointed Southport manager on December 7th 2013 after the club had participated in 22 Conference matches. The aforementioned 2-2 draw with Gateshead represented Coleman’s 22nd match as Southport, which has seen him gather 28 points in the process.

With Town welcoming Kidderminster Harriers on the final day of the season, Aspin will be conscious of the necessity of securing a play-off birth on Easter Monday, as Kidderminster throw a late assault on the play-offs, which was bolstered after efficient back-to-back wins over Cambridge United and Hyde.

Furthermore the slight possibility of FC Halifax overhauling Cambridge in second place on goal difference remains, providing Cambridge fail to obtain another point in their remaining two fixtures against both Chester and Gateshead.

Follow the game

There will be live and kick by kick audio commentary of the game on Shaymen Player.

Match updates will also be available on the official site as well as the club’s official Twitter feed. (

We will also have extended match highlights from the game, as well as all the reaction from Neil Aspin and the rest of the camp.

Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist