Southport manager Liam Watson departs after five years

Liam Watson - Southport vs Curzon Ashton

Liam Watson has left his position as Southport manager.

The club have confirmed that he will focus on his duties as director as they eye a new first-team manager.

The 53-year-old departs the Yellows after his third spell at Haig Avenue, following a run of 11 games straight defeats dating back to last season.

Spennymoor Town inflicted a third straight league defeat of the season after Warrington Town and Alfreton Town claimed all three points, in the opening two.

Watson had led the Sandgrounders to two Conference North lead titles during his previous stints with the club and returned in 2018, following spells with AFC Telford United and Stalybridge Celtic.

During his return to Haig Avenue, Southport finished in 14th, 12th, 11th then narrowly avoided the drop last season – finishing 18th.

However, Watson’s time in charge came to a head at Brewery Park as Spennymoor soundly beat them. Declan Evans’ penalty handed Southport the lead after Marcus Carver was hauled down.

On four occasions the Port defence were sliced open and the hosts were grateful to move in front with two from Robert Ramshaw and Glen Taylor with Will Harris also on target.

Southport host Boston United at Haig Avene on Saturday.

In a statement, the Sandgrounders said: “The club confirms that a re-structure of its management team will take place with immediate effect.

“As part of this, Liam Watson will concentrate fully on his role as a Director of the Club, which will as a consequence result in the appointment of a new first-team manager in due course.

“In the meantime, player-coach David Morgan and assistant manager Andy Burgess will take temporary charge of first-team affairs from today.”

Yellows owner Ian Kyle added: “I would like to thank Liam for the huge contribution he has made as first team manager over many years, however we have both agreed that the time is now right to make a change.

“Looking ahead though, I see this as a massive gain for the Board. In recent years, the Club has taken positive strides forward in terms of its infrastructure, Academy, junior sides and relationships with sponsors, and Liam has been a huge part of that.

“I am extremely happy that he will now be able to put more time and effort into helping Steven Porter and myself in continuing that growth.”

[Featured image: Julia Urwin – Southport FC]

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