Harriers 3-0 Southport
January 27, 2018

Harriers 3-0 Southport

Three first half goals blew away Southport at Aggborough and gave Harriers a stronger grip on a play-off position.

A sixth successive home victory, stretching Harriers' unbeaten league run to 16 games, leaves them in fifth place six points ahead of the teams trying to get into the play-offs and within striking distance of fourth place.

John Eustace surprisingly left out Sam Austin and James Pearson from the side that beat FC United last time out with Joel Taylor and Fraser Horsfall returning to the side.  George Waring who had come off the bench to score in that game had to be content with a place on the bench again.

Harriers dominated the game from the start and after Manny Sonupe had fired wide after being set up by Declan Weeks' pass they took the lead after just 14 minutes.  Taylor advanced on the left, cut inside the full back and rolled the ball inside to Sonupe who fired in from outside the penalty area for his 13th goal of the season.

Just five minutes later Southport's plan to get stuck in and stop Harriers from playing was out of the window as the home side doubled their advantage; James McQuilkin's corner from the right was only half cleared and when he lofted in a second cross from the right Horsfall was on hand to power a header past Jon Worsnop in The Sandgrounders' goal.

A sweeping move involving Sonupe and Lee Vaughan on the right saw McQuilkin advance into scoring position only for his shot to be saved as Harriers threatened to take complete control of the game.  Moments later, though, Harriers had a third as leading scorer Joe Ironside rose to meet McQuilkin's cross from the right and send a looping header past Worsnop for his 17th of the season.

After the break Southport changed their approach and managed to stem the flow of goals.  As an attacking force, though, they had very little and it was not until eight minutes from the end that they managed a shot on target, Taylor blocking Steve Howson's header.

Harriers themselves could have increased their lead further but Worsnop saved from Ryan Croasdale and later on made an excellent save to deny Waring at the far post after Ironside had flicked on Austin's cross from the left.