MATCH PREVIEW | Southport vs Spennymoor Town

Rob Ramshaw in action against Alfreton Town.

Spennymoor are back in action after a two week break as they travel to manager-less Southport aiming to make it three consecutive league wins.

Due to their early exit from the FA Cup in September, Jason Ainsley and his side had a rare weekend off after a hectic start to the campaign. While rested legs and refreshed minds can be seen as a positive, Moors will be hoping that the momentum from the deserved win over Alfreton Town a fortnight ago has not been lost.

Southport have also had a break from action, last featuring in 3-0 defeat at Nuneaton Town on September 23rd. It was The Sandgrounders fifth consecutive defeat and their sixth in seven games, with one of those losses coming at the hands of Bradford Park Avenue in the FA Cup.

Those results and a drastic dip in form from their early season momentum saw manager Alan Lewer dismissed from his position, leaving the club without a manager despite only being one point below York City who currently occupy the final play-off position.

There is no room for complacency however on Moors’ part, as they face a side who won four of their opening five fixtures, clearly demonstrating that Southport are an accomplished side going through an alarming run of form.

STATS CENTRE

  • Spennymoor have won as many points in their last two league games as they did in their previous six
  • Joe Tait has scored in each of his last three league appearances at The Brewery Field (all penalties)
  • Moors are currently unbeaten against all teams outside the play-off places (W6,D2)
  • Four of Southport’s 12 league games this season have featured a red card
  • They picked up 14 of their 17 points in the opening six games of the season, only accumulating three in their last six
  • The Sandgrounders scored 13 goals in their first seven games – they have only scored one in their previous six

SPENNYMOOR TEAM NEWS

Ryan Hall has trained this week but there is still doubt surrounding his inclusion for Saturday’s game. Jason Ainsley has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to Southport.

view from the press box

Two weeks can feel like a long time in football. That’s how the break between Moors’ victory over Alfreton and this weekend’s fixture against Southport has felt. Without doubt the rare stoppage in proceedings during a hectic season will have had its benefits – rest and recovery the most obvious – but the momentum gained from back-to-back league victories over North Ferriby and Alfreton Town has hopefully not been lost. After speaking to Mark Anderson this week, it’s clear to see that the squad feel that a play-off spot is achievable. He spoke of the expectations after promotion to a higher league and how they rarely come to light. It’s already been clear to everyone that Moors can compete and win games against the biggest side’s in the National League North.

While Southport’s form has taken a nosedive in recent weeks, it’s crucial not to underestimate a side who, despite their 15th place standing, boast a host of players capable of impacting the game on the day. The fact they are without a manager means nothing. After reading about their players giving up their time to put in extra work at the training ground, it’s evident to see that they view Saturday’s game as a watershed moment in their season. It’s Non-League Day too, so the crowds should flood in as their are no local games on in the higher divisions, making for a special atmosphere and adding to the occasion.

ONE TO WATCH: GARY ROBERTS

The 30-year-old deep lying playmaking midfielder has enjoyed a long spanning career at 11 clubs including Crewe Alexandra, Yeovil Town and Rotherham United, as well as representing England from U16 to U19 level. After signing in the summer from Bangor City, where he netted seven times in 27 games, Roberts has already made an impact with Southport, scoring four times and showcasing his vision and passing range which he has become renowned for.

Gary Roberts (centre) in action for Southport in pre-season.