FT: Southport 1 Imps 1

City concluded their 2016/17 Vanarama National League championship campaign with a lunchtime kick-off at relegated Southport, looking to round off a memorable season by hitting the 100 point mark.

Luke Waterfall, Matt Rhead and Lee Angol all returned to the starting line-up at the expense of Sean Raggett, Riccardo Calder and Adam Marriott who all missed out on a place in the squad.

Haig Avenue was a sea of red and white as the players were led out of the tunnel by referee Sam Allison; the Southport players forming a guard of honour to welcome the title winning Imps.

City kicked off and were immediately on the offensive with Angol having a goalbound drive pushed away by Chris Cheetham who then gathered a loose ball at the third attempt under pressure from the Imps' striker.

The next attack of note came in the eighth minute with a Josh Ginnelly cross flew just over Jack Muldoon and three minutes later a push on Angol by Euan Murray gave the Imps a free-kick in a dangerous position but Callum Howe was flagged offside as Billy Knott curled the ball in.

Shortly after the quarter-hour mark Rhead and Angol combined to win the game's first corner which ended up with Waterfall having a back post header saved by Cheetham and after a quiet spell Spencer Myers had a ticking off following a meaty 23rd minute challenge on Alan Power.

Rhead then saw a volley from 25 yards go over following a great piece of chest control by the big front man before a shot on the turn by Angol was held at the second attempt by Cheetham.

With City starting to knock on the Southport door, it was duly opened in the 32nd minute when Muldoon shook off Neil Ashton and unselfishly squared for LEE ANGOL to sweep the Imps in front.

Five minutes after the restart Ryan Higgins was booked following foul on Ginnelly and City were inches away from a second shortly afterwards as Rhead saw his header from a Muldoon cross crash against the crossbar.

A low Muldoon drive was then tipped behind by Cheetham as the Imps continued to dominate towards the end of an opening period that came to a close after one additional minute.


There were no changes as Southport got the final 45 minutes of the season under way and the first action of note following the restart came in the form of a yellow card to Myers following a foul on Angol.

A quiet opening to the second half continued up until the 57th minute when Muldoon was denied by Cheetham after muscling his way past Murray on the left edge of the box.

A couple of minutes later Rhead headed inches wide following a great cross by Sean Long into the middle before ex-Imp Louis Almond replace Jamie Allen for the hosts.

In the 66th minute there was a great chance for Ginnelly but he saw his effort go straight at Cheetham after getting on the end of a Waterfall flick. Two minutes later Howe was booked for a mistimed challenge on Rory McKeown.

A triple City substitution then came along with Elliott Whitehouse, Alex Woodyard and Nathan Arnold coming on for Alan Power, Billy Knott and Josh Ginnelly and when play resumed the ball ran away from Muldoon as he looked to get on the end of a Rhead knock down. He won a corner though and this ended with a Waterfall rocket crash against Angol.

The clock ticked on and five minutes from time a teasing cross from Muldoon found Rhead who saw his header crash into the side-netting. A limping Angol was then forced off so City were to finish the game with 10 men.

Waterfall and Almond were then involved in an altercation with the outcome being a yellow card for the City skipper, and nothing for the Southport man. Richard Brodie replaced Spencer Myers before Neil Ashton saw his deep free-kick sail straight over everyone in a packed box and straight into the top corner to level the scores.

Tom Grimshaw for Declan Weeks was Southport's final change in the last of three added minutes and this proved to be the last action of what was a memorable season for the Imps.


39    Ross ETHERIDGE
6    Callum HOWE
7    Jack MULDOON
8    Alan POWER
9    Matt RHEAD
11    Terry HAWKRIDGE
12    Sean LONG
31    Lee ANGOL
34    Billy KNOTT
36    Josh GINNELLY

4    Elliott WHITEHOUSE (for POWER 68)
16    Alex SIMMONS
27    Jamie McCOMBE
28    Nathan ARNOLD (for GINNELLY 69)
30    Alex WOODYARD (for KNOTT 69)



15    Chris CHEETHAM
3    Neil ASHTON
6    Euan MURRAY
7    Jamie ALLEN
10    Liam HYNES
14    Ben McKENNA
19    Declan WEEKS
23    Rory McKEOWN
26    Ryan HIGGINS
24    Robbie CUNDY
29    Spencer MYERS
11    Jean COLY
16    Kevin MONTEIRO
25    Louis ALMOND (for ALLEN 63)
27    Richard BRODIE (for MYERS 87)
30    Tom GRIMSHAW (for WEEKS 90+3)




REFEREE: Sam Allison
ASSISTANTS: Abbas Khan & Lee Freeman

ATTENDANCE: 3,462 (2,458 City supporters)