Report: Southport 1 Moors 3

Paul Blackett smashed a second half double as Moors collected an impressive three points at Southport to keep alive their hopes of snatching a National League North play-off place.

The front man’s brace helped secure the victory after Glen Taylor had rifled home a first half free-kick, which rendered Chris Doyle’s close-range finish for the home side a mere consolation.

There was a scrappy start to the encounter with neither side really able to get into their rhythm in the opening stages, though Taylor did send a powerful half-volley over the bar after good work down the right from Connor Shanks and Rob Ramshaw.

The first real chance arrived on 16 minutes when Paul Blackett slipped Shanks through on goal down the right but Southport keeper Tony McMillan was quickly off his line to save well at the Moors’ man’s feet.

At the other end, Dylan Vassallo got within range and let fly with a left-footed strike which flashed wide of Harry Flatters’ post as the keeper got down to cover.

The Port’s best moment arrived just after the half hour when great work from Josh Hmami sent Tyler Walton into space on the right. He pulled a cross back across goal which Connor Heath flung himself at but couldn’t get the required contact.

On 35 minutes it was Taylor’s turn to take centre stage again. A free kick was won 30 yards from goal and when Shanks teed it up for the top scorer, he blasted his 22nd league goal of the season.

The hosts finished the first half strongly and could have been on level terms when a powerful header was turned over by Flatters, before Adam Hanson hit the post from the resultant corner.

Moors kicked-off the second half on the front foot and Ramshaw led the charge down the right side before sending a wonderful ball over for Blackett whose cross just evaded Shanks in the middle.

Southport began to look more likely as the half wore on but then Moors grabbed a second on the hour. Shanks drove into the penalty area on the right and sent a low ball square for Blackett who arrowed an unerring finish into the bottom corner.

However, the home side reduced the arrears again almost immediately when a scramble in the area resulted in Doyle being able to force the ball home for 2-1.

On 68 minutes Blackett struck again though. Ramshaw got away down the right-hand side and his firm cross into the box was met powerfully by the front man and his shot flashed into the net before the keeper could react.

Flatters was forced into a wonderful reaction save on 74 minutes when he got behind a low shot to block, before Lebrun Mbeka also showed bravery to stop a goalbound drive from Jack Bainbridge.

Moors showed real determination in the closing stages as they dealt with several long throws, Flatters dominating his area to ensure a second successive win and keep the side within three points of the top seven.

Full Time: Southport 1 Moors 3

Southport: McMillan, Oliver, Dolyle, Anson, Walton, C Heath, Hmami, Vassallo (Miles 70), Watson, Bainbridge, Carberry.
Subs not used: Wade, Adams, Munro,, F Heath.

Moors: Flatters, Lufudu, Mbeka, Tait, Ledger, Kendall, Ross, Ramshaw, Shanks (Anderson 63), Blackett (Day 86), Taylor.
Subs not used: Angell, Greaves, McKeown.

Booked: Ramshaw (26), Anderson (77)

Referee: Darius Bradley

Attendance: 710 (28 Moors)

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