Preview – Southport (Away)
Bucks look to bounce back against Port
Southport vs AFC Telford United
Vanarama National League North
Saturday 26th January 2019, 3pm kick off
Telford take on Southport this weekend at Haig Avenue.
Liam Watson’s summer return to Haig Avenue for a third full spell in charge of the Sandgrounders was expected to bring about a promotion push. And after a slow start, Port have now hauled themselves to the edge of the playoff picture.
Watson has won the National League North more than any other manager, having claimed the crown on three previous occasions – most recently, of course, with the Bucks in 2014. The other two titles came with Southport though, and the Port boss no doubt had designs on another title tilt prior to the start of the current campaign.
The Sandgrounders started the season poorly though, all but ruling out another crown. Watson’s side lost their opening four games and picked up just eight points from the first 42 available, leaving them rooted to the foot of the table and seemingly deep in trouble.
Since then, though, Port have rallied and went twelve league games without defeat; in which time the Merseysiders have picked up eight wins and four draws. Altrincham’s 1-0 win last weekend finally halted Port’s unbeaten run though. Meanwhile, Blyth were the last side to win at Haig Avenue in the league back in October.
But the Bucks have been in impressive form as well; last weekend’s loss to Kidderminster had been preceded by five straight across all competitions. And after a bit of a slow start on the road this season, Telford’s away form has picked up in recent months too. The Bucks have won four out of the last six away from home.
Port won 3-0 when the sides last met on Merseyside, but the Bucks beat Southport 1-0 in this season’s curtain raiser back in August. Gavin Cowan will be hoping to make it another three points against Southport next weekend.
AFC Telford United: W-W-W-W-L
Last result: AFC Telford United 0-1 Kidderminster Harriers
League position: 5th
Top scorer: Daniel Udoh (17)
Last result: Altrincham 1-0 Southport
League position: 11th
Top scorer: Dion Charles (12)
Merseyrail Community Stadium
On the day £17
Preview: Tom Carter