Southport (a) Preview

September 20, 2011 by  

 

Southport vs Wrexham- September 20th, 7:45pm K.O

 

 

 

Tonight we travel to Haig Avenue to take on an in-form Southport side, in what should be a very tough game. The Sandgrounders, who lie 10th in the table, have won 4 games on the bounce and have already matched their number of away wins from last season.

After a second disappointing loss in a row, an away win will do wonders for confidence, especially against a side who are doing pretty well at the moment. We’ve conceded 6 goals in 2 games, accounting for a good chunk of the 9 goals against us this season thus far. It’s no coincidence that our best player (in my opinion) so far in this campaign, Mark Creighton, missed the Barrow game and the first 45 minutes of the York game.

For me NKP relies a lot on the talking from the Beast and he also provides the tackling ability, and physicality, Knight-Percival lacks in his game. This was clearly missing in first half against York, with NKP and Westwood being too similar to compliment each other. It seems blindingly obvious that Westwood was brought in to play the role NKP has filled so brilliantly until recently, and it has to be one of these two and Creighton that starts tonight. People have been quick to blame Mayebi, but the back 4 not performing has been the main problem.

Other than that we also saw a sub-par performance from the usually sublime Fowler. He isn’t a defensive midfielder, he can play that role against teams who like to sit back and defend, but he’s far more suited to playing further up the field when someone comes to attack us. He doesn’t track back quick enough and he can’t break up play as effectively as someone who naturally plays this role. That’s not to say he can’t still play there against teams we wan’t to put heaps of pressure on, but we sorely missed someone playing Blackburn’s role against York.

But enough of dwelling on the negatives, there weere some positives to take from the York game even if they were limited. The mini maestro Keates played very well in the second half, settling the players nerves and holding the shape of the midfield well, which is encouraging to see after his time out. Our second half formation also shows we can mix it up a bit and Saunders will have learnt more about us in those two games than he has all season.

It’s also easy to forget that this time last season we’d lost 2, drawn 5 and only won 2. We’re in a much healthier position than that so there is no need to panic just yet. In fact, almost a year to the day, we played Southport at home and won 2-1 so hopefully that will be a good omen!

Prediction and Attendance

The last two games I’ve predicted us to win, we’ve lost, so I’m officially retiring from predictions. Instead, here’s a few predicitions from the forum:

"We always lose 1-0 when I go to away games so 1-0 it is."- Drury-Red

"2-0 Wrexham. Pogba + Morrell" – leont

"2-2, inolving us surrendering a 2 goal lead with ten minutes left. Morrell and Harris." – joe

"We stop the rot but only with a 1-1 draw. Speight." – Bagger Vance

"5.0 Keates, Fowler, Speight, Westwood and Maxebi." – Rk11

As for the attendance, Southport have been averaging at 1,243 so far this season. When we faced them away last year, the attendance was 1,464. We were on a 9 game unbeaten run at the time though so I’m guessing we might bring a few less. Anywhere between the two will most likely be right, so I’ll plump for 1,355, with around 400 reds making the trip.

Likely Starting XI

Mayebi (if fit)

 

Westwood —– Knight-Percival ————- Creighton—– Ashton

Keates

 

Fowler ——————— Harris

 

Morrell ————————————————— Speight

 

Pogba

 

This starting XI is purely guess work, as the Saunders-Maxwell rift still seems to be ongoing. Rumour has it that Danny Ward is even being considered ahead of Maxwell if Mayebi is unfit, so god knows whats going on. I’d imagine the midfield will take a re-jig to fit in Keates, and Obeng might be dropped for of Westwood. I sincerely hope the latter doesn’t happen as Obeng has been a star this season.

 

Southport Stats

Our Last Game (at home): Wrexham 1 – 2 Southport (FA Trophy), 23rd October 2010

Our Last Game (away): Southport 0 – 1 Wrexham, 18th January 2011

Current Position: 10th

Last Game: Forest Green 2 – 3 Southport

Recent Form (6 Games): LLWWWW

Top Scorer: Whalley & Gray (3)

Last Loss: Kidderminster 2 – 0 Southport, 29th August

Last Starting XI: McMillan, Lee, Lever, Davis, Grand, Whalley, Moogan, Ledsham, Poku, Gray, Walker

 

Poll Results- How many away games do you attend?

The poll hasn’t closed yet, so full results aren’t in, but the thread can be found here: www.redpassion.co.uk/forums/wrexham/78742-southport-preview-poll-how-many-away-games-do-you-attend.html

 Here’s the results as they stand:

0   2 4.55%
1-5   20 45.45%
6-10   9 20.45%
11-15   7 15.91%
15-19   3 6.82%
20-23, just can’t get enough!   3 6.82%

 

 Not surprisingly, as the categories increase, less people are going. I am surprised that more people don’t go between 6-10 though. If I had the money (and drove) I’d certainly go to a lot more, and would be going at least 8 or 9 times a year. I suppose the current financial climate and lack of local away games is a big factor though.

I haven’t seen us win away in quite some time, and my last away game was our 1-1 draw with Tamworth last season. Hopefully we can do better tonight! 

C’mon The Town!

 

BillTheRed