Preview | Southport (H) | National League North | 21/22

By Stephen Burton

Terry Mitchell takes charge of his first home game as Spartans manager this Saturday, as Southport make the trip to Croft Park.

Mitchell’s first match ended in a 4-1 defeat away to AFC Fylde last weekend. In that defeat, Spartans put in a spirited performance but were undone by the superior quality of the league leaders. Despite going down to 10-men late on, JJ O’Donnell managed to grab consolation from the penalty spot five minutes from the end.

TICKET INFORMATION

  • We ask that all supporters purchase their tickets in advance via our online system.
  • If you do not have online access, you can purchase your ticket by ringing the club office on 01670 352373 and paying with a debit or credit card. Your ticket can then be collected from the social club on match day.
  • We will operate a cash turnstile. However we strongly encourage you to purchase your ticket in advance.
  • Tickets purchased in advance must be printed or stored on your phone. Without proof of ticket, you will not be permitted into Croft Park.
  • Advanced tickets can be bought up until 2pm on a matchday.
  • Should you wish to sit in the Port of Blyth Stand, you should purchase in advance.

MILESTONE

Sado Djalo is in line to make his Blyth debut on Saturday, after being an unused substitute against Fylde.

However it’s another remarkable milestone for Blyth legend Robbie Dale that will likely steal the show on Saturday. If he plays, it’ll be his 700th appearance in a Spartans shirt.

OPPOSITION

Liam Watson’s Southport side endured a difficult start to the season, and at the start of October found themselves bottom of National League North. However after a remarkable turnaround, the Sandgrounders find themselves in the play-off places after an impressive 10 game unbeaten run.

Southport had been let down by their poor away form, but managed to get their first win on the road this season on Tuesday night. Goals from Marcus Carver and John Hmami helped them to a 2-0 win against Guiseley as they jumped up to seventh place in the table.

WHAT WE’RE SAYING

Speaking to Blyth Live after the Fylde defeat, Mitchell felt their were positives to take from his side’s second-half performance. “Of course you’re disappointed when you lose 4-1. We asked the lads to try and get on the ball and play, and that was the most disappointing thing as first-half we didn’t do that.

At half-time we spoke to the lads and said we wanted to them to get back to playing football, how they did at the start of the season when they were getting results. In the second-half we saw some of that and there were positives. We started to string together some passes and we scored, even though we had to play the last 15 minutes with 10 men.

We’re looking forward to the home game, we’ve got two more training sessions then were on our home patch. Hopefully we can show the fans that we’re a good team to watch.”

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Speaking to his club’s media team after the win against Guiseley, Watson said: “We needed to back it up after a good win at the weekend. I can’t ask for any more from the lads, great work ethic and three more points.

We got rid of the monkey off our back of not winning away from home, we’ve kept a clean sheet. Now we go into Blyth and we need to show them the same respect as we’ve shown Guiseley tonight, we need to work hard and hopefully take our chances when they come our way.”

LAST TIME WE MET

When the sides last met in October last year, Blyth fell to a 3-0 defeat at Croft Park. This was the third straight defeat against the Sandgrounders with 4-1 and 2-0 defeats the season before.

However, despite those defeats Spartans actually have the better record, winning the four previous matches since their promotion to National League North. The last victory came at Croft Park on the final day of the 2018-19 season, as two Robbie Dale penalties helped Blyth to a 2-1 win and sealed their place in the play-offs.

MEDIA COVERAGE

Join Niall Bromley and Phil Castiaux on Blyth Live from 2:45pm.

Alternatively, you can follow the game via our social media platforms.

Posted by Stephen Burton