Blue Square Bet
Published 12th April 2012
....Blue Square Bet Premier play-off quest over the Easter weekend.
The Sandgrounders suffered a galling late defeat at home to fellow hopefuls Kidderminster Harriers last Saturday, and needed a stoppage-time penalty from Tony Gray to rescue a point at Barrow on Easter Monday.
It means they have won just one of their last five matches, and have slipped out of the play-off places with just three games remaining in the campaign.
Watson, who takes his side to Tamworth for a pivotal clash this weekend, says there was a degree of frustration about the manner in which his side had dropped points - especially against Kidderminster - but says there will be nobody at Haig Avenue throwing the towel in. “It is still all to play for,” said the ‘Port boss. “Our aim for this weekend hasn’t changed, we need to go to Tamworth and win.
“We need to make sure we are alive going into the last game of the season, away to Grimsby. If we are there or thereabouts, then I will be happy. All we can do is give it our best shot, as we have done all season long.”
Watson admitted his side were a tad fortunate to come away with a point at Barrow. Tony Gray’s penalty - his twenty-second goal of a superb personal campaign - came in the 92nd minute, and after a questionable foul on Shaun Whalley.
“We got a touch of good fortune,” said Watson. “But then we got a touch of poor fortune against Kidderminster on Saturday, so it evens itself out.
“Barrow played well, and we didn’t play especially well. But we took a point and we are still in the hunt, so we can’t be too downhearted.”
Watson says he is encouraged by the inconsistencies of teams around them in the promotion battle. The likes of Wrexham, Luton Town and York City have all failed to fire in recent weeks, meaning Southport are firmly in the hunt for a top-five finish.
“We look around, and we can see it is going to be tough,” he said. “But for us there are some big games coming up around us.
“For example, this weekend we’ve got Gateshead playing Forest Green Rovers, which will eliminate one or both of them from the picture, Grimsby Town have Wrexham and Luton have a really tough away game at Alfreton Town.
“So there are chances for teams around us to drop points. What we have to do is make sure we are in a position to take advantage when we do.
“Tamworth will be tough. They draw a lot of games, which suggests they are hard to beat but that they struggle to score goals.”