Morris gives Southport first leg lead

| FA Trophy
Att: 2106
Slough Town
0 - 1
Southport
Morris (68)
Unknown
With four key players missing, Slough slipped to defeat in the home leg of their semi-final and face a test of character when they try to make up that deficit on Sunday.

The suspended trio of Corey Browne, Terry Angus and Danny Bolt were all forced to watch from the stands, along with the injured Paul Hardyman. The changes forced on manager Brian McDermott brought no real surprises, with Derek Simpson filling in at left back, Matthew Stowell in the centre of defence and Mark Fiore on the left of midfield.

The single goal came on 68 minutes, when Southport dangerman Brian Ross broke down the right, and Slough keeper Paul Wilkerson came charging out to challenge. Ross kept his cool and chipped the keeper, his effort was drifting wide of the far post, but Steve Morris was there to tap it in, with Garry Smart just unable to keep it out. It was almost a freak goal, but it still stands between Slough and a place in the final.

The Rebels had made a promising start to the game, when Gary Brazil's shot in the first minute set up by Lloyd Owusu drifted over. On eight minutes it took an excellent overhead clearance from Tim Ryan to clear Gary Abbott's clever flick that almost put Owusu in.

Minutes later Owusu returned the favour for Abbott, but again the Southport defence was able to clear. The Rebels' best chance of the half came on 28 minutes when Owusu beat two defenders on the right and squared for Mark Fiore. Fiore's first-time shot was well-struck and on target, but brilliantly tipped over by Billy Stewart.

Slough were working hard, but passing moves were breaking down too quickly and more long balls were beginning to creep in. Southport, despite enjoying less possession and often on the back foot, nevertheless kept the ball better around the box and when they threatened, sustained the pressure just that bit longer.

The Rebels came out for the second half in more determined mood, winning a corner straight away which Brazil took and Cliff Hercules headed back across goal, just wide of the far post.

And the first ten minutes of the half looked promising. as the home side kept the ball better, and Hercules and Gary McGinnis particularly at the back dealt well with any long clearances to keep up the pressure.

But the goal, coming slightly against the run of play undid all that hard work, and even though Smart forced a great save from Stewart after good work from Brazil, it was as close as the Rebels got to an equaliser. Slough have a good record away from home — nothing less than a win on Sunday will do.

Southport Line up

Billy Stewart, Paul Futcher, Andy Farley, Tim Ryan, Brian Butler, Ged Kielty, Dave Thompson (Joe Morgan), David Gamble, Kevin Formby, Brian Ross, Stephen Morris (Paul Mitten). Sub not used: Paul Clarke.

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