Moors fell to a disappointing home defeat at Southport continued their excellent form with a 1-0 victory at The Brewery Field on Tuesday night.
The Sandgrounders chalked up their fifth victory in six games at the expense of Jason Ainsley’s side, who trailed from the 13th minute and finished the game with ten men.
A mistake at the back was pounced on by former Sunderland midfielder who finished clinically early in the first half and Moors toiled to find a way back before Finn Cousin-Dawson was shown a second yellow in the dying stages.
Ainsley had opted to name a completely unchanged side following the weekend’s excellent win over Banbury United, but they rarely got fully into their stride in the same way as the visitors made life difficult.
Moors had been on the front foot early on but were caught when trying to play out from the back and Danny Greenfield had his pocket pinched to allow Southport to go in front inside the first quarter-hour.
There was initially a strong response and Moors could have levelled four minutes later when Jordan Thewlis drove at the Southport defence before finding a low ball into Greenfield who turned brilliantly only to see his powerful shot come back off the post.
Rob Ramshaw was next to make inroads after the beautifully brought down a ball forward from Tom Allan, but he couldn’t get a shot away quickly enough and the Southport defence closed down the opportunity.
Moors built up a head of steam as half time approached, with visiting keeper Tony McMillan forced into a tidy save following good work from Rob Ramshaw, while Thewlis couldn’t find the target from the rebound.
Southport began the second half the brighter and Tyler Walton almost punished some defensive hesitancy but could only flash a ball across the area, before Charlie OIiver’s long throw caused trouble in the Moors box until it was finally smuggled clear.
With Man of the Match Dylan Boyle unruffled in the engine room, Moors were enjoying the lion’s share of possession and Allan almost found the key to the door when he drove to the left of the area but his cross flashed across goal and wide.
Bainbridge tried his luck after a powerful run forward beyond the Moors defence but Gio Bellagambi was right behind it, and the Moors keeper was also perfectly positioned to grasp substitute Josh Hmami’s free-kick.
Cousin-Dawson was shown a yellow card for a foul on 81 minutes, and he collected a second just three minutes later for showing dissent after appeals for a penalty were waved away by the referee.
The red card only served to compound a frustrating night and one that Moors will have to put behind them quickly as they head for Scarborough Athletic on Saturday.
Full Time: Moors 0 Southport 1
Moors: Bellagambi, Cousin-Dawson, Tait (Lufudu 81), Ledger, Kendall, Greenfield (Forbes 62), Boyle, Thewlis (Anderson 65), Ramshaw, Allan, Taylor.
Subs: Duxbury, Payne.
Booked: Tait (44), Allan (63)
Sent-off: Cousin-Dawson (84)
Southport: McMillan, Oliver, Quansah, Anson, C Doyle, Munro, Carberry, Carver (Hmami 65), Walton, Watson (J Doyle 85), Bainbridge.
Subs not used: Mason, Heath, Evans.
Referee: Dane McCarrick
Attendance: 1,295 (35 Southport)