Southport boss Liam Watson slams ‘ludicrous’ red card in Fylde draw

Southport manager Liam Watson during their clash with AFC Telford United.

Southport manager Liam Watson was pleased with the display during their stalemate against AFC Fylde.

The Coasters left Haig Avenue with a point despite playing much of the game with a man disadvantage after Will Hatfield’s red card.

But the Port boss has slammed the conduct of the Fylde captain after he appeared to kick out at the felled Tyler Walton before the referee pulled the play back and sent him off.

Southport could’ve won the game enjoying the vast majority of possession as well as Niall Watson’s second-half effort which trickled past the post with Bobby Jones left in no mans land.

Speaking after the match said: “As much as you say it’s lively, they’ve had someone sent off. For an experienced player to kick someone on the back of the head as they go past is just ludicrous.

“He’s let his club, his teammates and himself down. Prior to that, they were getting frustrated I thought we were better than them. We pressed, worked on stuff in effect where we wanted to get at them then the sendings off makes it look like something but you’re always vulnerable.

“We weren’t vulnerable, Cam has nothing to do at all but I thought we’ve had the best chance of the game. Niall’s just got to hit the target but on the balance of play, it was great to see us back as we were. Great to see the fans behind us.

MATCH REPORT: Southport 0-0 AFC Fylde

“It’s going to take time, there’s people who’ve been out long term and they’re coming. People going ‘they’re back, they’re fit’ they’re nowhere near but they’re having a go and everything about us was us. Takes us into the last five, not many to go now, we’re in touching distance. Monday becomes massive.”

Southport sit ninth in the National League North, three points off the playoff places, and face a big test on Monday against Farsley Celtic.

The latest point becomes their fourth in their last seven after their disappointing form was compiled by the 6-0 thrashing to Kidderminster Harriers.

But for Watson, he was pleased with the response, he said: “The lads in terms of the squad, we were all looking for a lift today and the performance was the lift. People might say ‘a man sent off’ but we were well on top before the man was sent off.

“I don’t think their manager should get sent off. I did think the referee was very good which is nice to see because you normally give them a bit of criticism but I thought he handled it, had an aura. 

“Not really (take a 0-0 pre-match), I just think on the balance of play, the energy, the shape was really good. Michael Carberry done really well, we’re not surprised there, it’s not a gimme just because people have done well they’re just going to stay in the team, if we can freshen it up, we’ll freshen it up.

“Dylan’s now picked up an injury – he’s pulled something. Let’s face it, it’s a young team, in two years they’ve played no more than 20 games. This season, they’re well into 40 games, some of them have never played 20 games for their lives – especially some of them who’ve been at U23 clubs and stuff like that. It is going to take a toll on their bodies, not just Southport all over the place.

“You look at the decision no midweek game for the first eight weeks of the season it’s just as ludicrous as the decisions over Covid, we needed to get people back playing as soon as possible, they had a long lay off and we’re probably getting the brunt of it now. 

“I’m pleased with what I seen. Obviously Connor (Woods) makes a difference, got a little bit more creativity. Josh (Hmami) was probably the liveliest since he’s been back, Jordan (Archer) led the line, Tyler’s (Walton) workrate was stupid, unbelievable. And Jack (Bainbridge) probably had his best game of the season, so all in all pleased.”

[Featured image: Julia Urwin – Southport FC]

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