Southport manager Liam Watson sends fans plea as Port rue ‘inconsistency’ following Alfreton Town defeat

Southport manager Liam Watson watches on against Alfreton Town

Southport manager Liam Watson has admitted his frustration at their defeat to Alfreton Town as the Yellows’ inconsistency continues during the early stages of the season.

They followed up their disappointment against Peterborough Sports with a hard-fought win over Darlington. But on Saturday, they were dispatched 4-0 away at Alfreton Town.

The hosts took a three-goal lead in at half-time, the first of which was a mistake from Cam Mason before a wonder strike from Dayle Southwell doubled the lead with Fraser Preston adding a third on the stroke of half-time.

Southwell added his second and Alfreton’s fourth when Mason couldn’t get a clean punch away allowing the forward to tap into an empty net.

Despite the scoreline, Watson felt that the performance wasn’t as bad as the scoreline suggested. He told Off The Park: “I’m frustrated but I don’t actually think we were that bad that’s the bizarre thing.

“For 35 minutes, we were defending Alfreton down the slope and only a horrendous goalkeeping error cost us then five minutes someone hits an unbelievable volley from 30 yards and all of a sudden the games gone.

“I don’t think the lads deserved it, don’t think it was a lack of effort, I don’t think it was a lack of commitment, I just think it was one of them days.

“The week before I was really, really critical after Peterborough (Sports) but they bounced back and give a fantastic performance against Darlington but I don’t think we were a million miles away from being okay on Saturday,  I just think circumstances probably lead to it.

“Cam’s come in and held his hands up but he very rarely make mistakes so it’s hard to be critical but it was a howler, sometimes you can’t do much about it.

“I just think we’re inconsistent but inconsistency probably comes because we’re not settled and we’re not settled because we’ve got too many players out, it’s not an excuse.”

Watson detailed that Niall Watson and Josh Hmami remain out of the squad through injury with Saturday coming too soon but Declan Evans could be in line for his first appearance since last season for Southport.

He added: “We’ve got Niall (Watson) and Josh Hmami two of our most creative players, they haven’t stepped foot on the pitch this season yet. We had Chris Doyle missing but the good news was he got the all clear from a medical condition, he’s now back, he’s fine.

“Declan Evans ended up on the bench on Saturday, I wouldn’t have put him on because he’s been injured, he wasn’t ready, if I had to I could’ve but it wouldn’t have been the right thing to do. Again, he should be back in contention for the weekend if he comes through training he’ll be okay for the weekend so gradually coming back.”

Following the season-ending injury to Nyal Bell, the Southport manager confirmed they are looking to bolster their ranks up front.

Earlier this week, Watson said: “Then we are actively trying to bring another player into the squad but we’re just waiting on the parent club to see if they want to do business with us or not.

“Jordan (Archer) carries the workload but it’s alright saying it but you can’t plan the whole season and not have another central striker in the club. Probably initially as a loan, player’s club seems happy, the player’s agent seems happy but you’ve just got to wait and hope.”

However, Off The Park understands negotiations have hit an impasse due to the parent club wanting to retain the player ahead of a busy August Bank Holiday weekend. However, the club hope to get the deal over the line for next Saturday’s trip to Banbury United.

Southport host Telford on Saturday in the first of their double header before they travel to AFC Fylde. Watson has called upon fans to get behind the players as they look to return to winning ways.

“You look at Telford, Telford’s a huge football club. We’ve got a real tough match on Saturday then we’re away at Fylde on Monday which becomes a pressure game for everyone.

“Get the first goal, don’t get me wrong, we’ll have good training sessions hopefully we’ll have everyone through safe and sound, see where Niall and Josh are up to, might be a little bit too soon for them. We could have a new player in the building as well. Lots of positives to look forward to and hopefully get some points over the weekend. 

“They only had to look at last Tuesday, the minute we went down to 10 men they came back. It’s a sideshow really everyone needs to be back onside and getting behind the players and that’s what football’s about.”

[Featured image: Julia Urwin – Southport FC]

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