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Salisbury City 1-1 Southport
The Skrill Premier
Salisbury City (4-3-3): Puddy, Clarke, MacDonald, Wilson (c), Hart, Brett, S.Sinclair, Wellard, McPhee, Harvey (White h-t), Fitchett.
Subs not used: Wright, Flint, Bittner, Feeney.
Scorer: Brett (71).
TORRENTIAL rain played an influential factor in Salisbury City’s 1-1 draw with a transformed Southport side as they remain chasing their first win in five matches.
The arrival of new boss John Coleman, making his debut in the hot-seat after replacing Alan Wright, ushered an effective performance from his troops in adverse conditions as they ended a six-match losing streak.
But had it not been for a batch of sublime saves from keeper Danny Hurst, beleaguered Southport could have suffered a heavy defeat at Old Sarum.
Bullish Stuart Sinclair was the first White to bring Hurst into action with a deep cross, then he was equal to an excellent move.
James Clarke sent Dan Fitchett trotting down the right wing who slipped in Ricky Wellard to attack, but Hurst convincingly pushed the strike to safety.
A key moment in the frenetic affair unfolded nine minutes before the interval when Sinclair was wrestled to the ground by Matt Flynn, and he was awarded a penalty.
But Fitchett, showing plenty of fire-power in Salisbury’s striking force, directed a soft penalty at the in-form custodian which he palmed to safety to keep it goalless at the interval.
The hosts made an attacking start to the second period but failing to defend a set-piece cost them dearly inside 64 minutes as they fell behind.
A menacing delivery allowed Danny Hattersley to pounce and a stick a shot towards Puddy that he flapped into his empty net.
The wake-up call worked as Mikey Harris’ men gained more confidence going forward and were left stunned when Jamie White went round Hurst and teed up Fitchett six yards from goal whose effort was tremendously blocked.
Yet they snuffed out the equaliser moments later through Wellard’s cross, which Ryan Brett, among a sea of bodies, managed to nod home at the near post during the goalmouth scramble.
The Whites, missing Theo Lewis (illness) and Elliott Frear (injured), had a couple of strong handball shouts turned down, before Wellard rocked the bar and was denied a winner late on as Hurst pulled off another strong save from the midfielder’s stinging effort.
“We were very unfortunate not to get the three points,” said Harris.
“The lads applied themselves to the game-plan very well and we created plenty of chances. Danny made a good save from the penalty, and if that goes in we go on to win the game quite comfortably.
“I’m disappointed to concede from a set piece but the lads battled well in very difficult conditions.”