At Haig Ave this afternoon to see Southport play another former League side, Mansfield Town. Deservedly Mansfield won although the Sandgrounders had plenty of opportunities to score, Blakeman in particular was guilty of squandering chances.
At this level of football segregation of the crowd is not as strict as it is (and needs to be) at higher level. We sat in the stand at the Blowick End and met many Mansfield supporters. Two couples who sat in front of us were making a weekend of it and it was interesting to hear the impressions of Southport. They were full of praise for the their Guest House-the Norwood. I cannot claim to know it but one of the women who was disabled spoke highly of the way they had accommodated her. They all 'loved' the town and were looking forward to exploring more tomorrow. It will be interesting to see an economic impact assessment of the football club since we moved up to the Conference Premier. I suspect that the four folk we were chatting to were not the only ones to have 'weekended' in Southport.
Thanks to Geoff Wilde and Michael Braham's excellent book I can tell you that Southport's previous record against Mansfield is:
played 48, won 16, drawn 13, lost 19, Goals for 74, Goals against 100.
So the result was to be expected!