Boro slump to 3-1 defeat on the road at Southport

Frank Mulhern scored the consolation goal for Boro in their 3-1 loss at Southport.Frank Mulhern scored the consolation goal for Boro in their 3-1 loss at Southport.
Frank Mulhern scored the consolation goal for Boro in their 3-1 loss at Southport.
Boro slipped to a hugely disappointing 3-1 defeat at lowly Southport on a warm Tuesday evening on the West Coast, with only a stunning late consolation goal from Frank Mulhern giving the travelling fans something to cheer about.

New Southport manager Jim Bentley was taking charge of his first home match, and his side ended a dreadful run of eight successive home losses against an out of sorts Boro, writes Steve Adamson.

A couple of early Boro corners came to nothing, before Southport began to get on top. Fin Heath fired wide, then Marcus Carver laid off to debutant Mikey O’Neill, on loan from Preston, who also shot wide.

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Boro briefly looked threatening, Mulhern surging forward and teeing up Alex Brown, whose shot was smothered by Chris Renshaw, then Mulhern burst through on goal, but Jack Doyle raced back and got in a solid tackle.

The hosts opened the scoring on 33 minutes when Tyler Walton cut in from the wing and passed to Carver, who fired past Joe Cracknell from the edge of the area.

The lead was doubled two minutes later, when the lively Niall Watson also drilled home from just outside the box.

Boro, without injured Alex Purver, struggled to get the ball forward, and the hosts deserved their 2-0 interval lead.

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Manager Jono Greening made two changes at the break, and Boro were slightly better in the second half, but rarely looked like getting back into the game.

Lewis Maloney, in his 99th competitive appearance, sent over a corner which dropped to Charlie Marshall but he was closed down before he could get in a shot, then at the other end a Southport corner was headed goal-wards by Walton, but blocked on the line by a Boro defender.

The hosts made it 3-0 when Watson rounded Cracknell and fired home, the linesman ruling the ball had crossed the line before Alex Brown slid in and kicked clear.

Will Thornton, Boro’s best player on the night, glanced a header wide, before Boro snatched a consolation on 78 minutes when Mulhern charged last Keenan Quansah and blasted a thunderous shot into the top left corner, and late on, Maloney fired a free-kick wide.

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SOUTHPORT - Renshaw, Doyle, Flowers, Anson, Watson (C. Heath 87), Morgan, Carver, Walton, Quansah, F.Heath (Costello 75), O’Neill

BORO - Cracknell, Weledji (Wiles 46), Brown, Qualter, Thornton, Gooda, Maloney, Marshall (Charles 66), Mulhern, Tear (Coulson 46), Colville

REFEREE - Declan Brown

GOALS - SOUTHPORT - Marcus Carver 33, Niall Watson 35, 58; BORO - Frank Mulhern 78

YELLOW CARD - BORO - Bailey Gooda

BORO MAN OF MATCH - Will Thornton

ATTENDANCE - 831 (70 away)