Southport SSES 3 Chasetown Scholars 0

A cold afternoon in the North West saw Chasetown’s young guns go down 3-0 to  Conference Youth Alliance rivals Southport SSES.

A scrappy start saw the hosts appear stronger, and they took the lead in the fourth minute when a quick move through midfield allowed Conor Swale to unleash a right-footed shot past Mark Wiggins.

Steven Hargreaves was next to attack but the Scholars defence worked well to keep his efforts at bay, and the latter then set up Craig Carney to double Southport’s lead in the 23rd minute.

The half was almost devoid of chances for the visitors, a cross from Lee Wright failing to find a finisher and Theo Robinson’s overhead kick clearing the crossbar, while a push on Wright by Carney went unpunished.  Andy Westwood looked stronger in the run-up to half time, and closed proceedings by sending a shot over the bar.

Wright and Matthew Botley showed good turns of pace in the second half, the latter hitting the post before cutting in from the right only to be denied by Tom Burns.

On 51 minutes, however, the defence was caught out and Carney slipped through to hit home a straightforward shot for Southport’s third.

Westwood refused to give in and tried to lead a Scholars fightback but the defence closed him down each time, before controversy ensued as home keeper Joe Mulby collided with Chad Degville only for the referee to signal play on.

It could have been a hat trick for Carney with ten minutes remaining, but Wiggins produced a fine save to tip the ball onto the crossbar.

The game degenerated considerably in its closing stages and with two minutes to go Swale was sent off for an attack on substitute Liam Thompson amid controversial scenes, a disappointing end to a disappointing afternoon for the Scholars.

Southport: Mulby, Ferrigan, Berrill, Fraser, Burns, Carney, Hargreaves, Baddeley, Swale, McDonald, Langton.  Subs: Clarke, Lancaster, Murray, Rigby, Saeed, Wallace.
Chasetown: Wiggins, Becque, Hemus, Scragg, Evans, Farmer, Degville, Westwood, Botley, Robinson, Wright.  Subs: Black, Lane, Gaur, Thompson, Faultless, Kelly, Turner.