By Paddysboyz
Saturday 27 May 2017 21:15:00
Browse all MATCH REPORTS articles

PBJ took up the role of chauffeur to ferry his old man on the journey to Southport for this fixture against the Sandgrounders in a rather chilly Tuesday evening in early April. As we travelled the relatively short journey to the game, PBJ and yours truly reflected that we were much happier that we were watching a game away from the Moss Rose, such is the dismal quality of our home form in comparison to the superb quality of our away form! Somewhere in the region of 120 Silkmen fans had made the trip to Southport, and PB was pleased to chat on the terraces with one of his old muckers from his days as a student nurse many moons ago in the form of Kieran Gibbons aka ‘Gibbo' who is always most entertaining to chat with. Anyway to the game itself which began in fairly quiet fashion with neither of the two sides causing too much excitement for their respective fans. Then with 8 minutes on the clock, a corner whipped in by Silkmen legend Danny Whitaker was nodded on by Neill Byrne, and Luke Summerfield's dangerous looking shot was cleared away by the relieved ‘Port backline.

The Silkmen now started to assert increasing control against their beleaguered opponents and it was no real surprise when they took a deserved lead on 13 minutes when Neill Byrne headed the Silkmen into the lead from a superb cross from the ageless Danny Whitaker. Barely had the Silkmen stopped celebrating when they doubled their lead as young Silkmen skipper Halls delivered another decent cross for young Bury loanee Anthony Dudley on 15 minutes. PB, PBJ & Gibbo then pondered as to a bit of an away day rout, and they really should have ended the game as a contest on 38 minutes when young Mitch Hancox was set up by Neill Byrne but ‘Port stopper Cheetham (who looked as if he should be doing his GCSE's rather than being between the sticks for The Sandgrounders) did well to clear the danger. The Silkmen's relative lack of urgency at ‘putting the game to bed' came back to haunt them in the 42nd minute when ‘Port's Higgins was allowed to cut inside from the right and fire a 30 yard thunderbolt past a helpless Flinders and draw applause not only from the home faithful, but from the Silkmen faithful who were standing behind the goal into which Higgins unleashed his exocet of a shot. It was 2-1 at half time and many of us reflected whilst sipping our half-time brews that our lack of urgency in ‘going for the throat' of the Sandgrounders after going 2-0 up could cost us dear.

The second half saw the Silkmen kicking towards the Silkmen faithful and if the first half was relatively entertaining, the second half lacked the same intensity. Despite this relative lack of excitement, the Silkmen should really have had the game sewn up by the hour mark with Neill Byrne forcing a half-decent save from young Cheetham in the 57th minute before an excellent Jack Mackreth cross saw Mitch Hancox inexplicably hit the crossbar from less than three yards (when it seemed easier to score) on 59 minutes. Southport appeared to sense that they could claim an unlikely outcome from the contest as the game wore on, and a decent attempt by Myers on 67 minutes produced a competent save from Silkmen custodian Scott Flinders. Although young Dudley fizzed a half-volley over the bar in the 68th minute, the rest of the game saw Southport press hard for an equaliser that they never really deserved, and the Silkmen achieved three valuable points in a less than thrilling contest. Much credit must go to young Harry Stokes though who kept the Silkmen faithful hugely entertained throughout the course of the game, and PB's scores on the doors are as follows for the Silkmen's first win in five visits to Haig Avenue:

Scott Flinders 7.0: Did nothing wrong and no chance whatsoever with the goal.

Andy Halls 7.5: The young Silkmen skipper had another very decent game and is having a pretty decent season in PB's humble opinion

David Fitzpatrick 7.0: Fitz' was his usual excellent self this evening against his former employers.

Neill Byrne 7.5: The affable Irishman had a very good game with a good goal and he could have had more.

John McCombe 6.5: ‘Boom-boom' did little wrong with a very solid and reliable performance.

Luke Summerfield 6.5: Not his best game in a Silkmen shirt but did little wrong.

Ollie Norburn 6.5: Ollie was solid and reliable throughout the game.

Danny Whitaker 8.5: The seemingly ageless legend ws a class above anyone else on the pitch and is PB's Man of the Match!

Jack Mackreth 8.0: Jack had a very good game and was close to PB's Man of the Match award.

Mitch Hancox 7.0: Mitch had a decent enough game, but should have buried that header from less than three yards!

Anthony Dudley 7.0: The kid definitely has potential, and is one PB would look to sign for next season if at all possible.

Enjoy the read.


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