Kidderminster Harriers signed off their relegation season with a win and became the first team to record 500 wins in the fifth tier of the football pyramid structure.
Harriers’ interim manager, Colin Gordon, took charge of team affairs for the last time before John Eustace begins his managerial career and admitted this spell would be missed in the future.
He said: “I’ve enjoyed this role but it is the right time to step down, in John Eustace we have a manager who is going to bring great things to Kidderminster Harriers in the future."
On the win, Gordon added: “It wouldn’t be Kidderminster if we didn’t make things hard for ourselves.
"Ousmane Fane was attempting a Jordi Cruyff turn on the edge of his box to give them the second goal, after Kelvin Langmead had made a big mistake in turning them round at the winning of the toss.
“The sun wasn’t going to go down nor the floodlights switched on at the end of April so, in the second-half, we were looking straight into the sun and couldn’t see where to play it."#
A wry smile quickly appeared, as Gordon commented: “We’re not afraid to play anyone, we are a confident young team, playing football the right way.
“If some of the teams we have played recently are good enough to reach the play-offs then that’s really where we should have been.
"They haven’t beaten us and although it is a blow (to be relegated) we look forward to the next stage of our plan.”
Southport were quickly out of the blocks and on five minutes caught Harriers cold.
Andrai Jones’ long ball was flicked on by Louis Almond and, as Mike Phenix went round goalkeeper Dean Snedker, he went down under the challenge.
It resulted in Snedker being booked and Almond capitalising from the spot, hitting the ball under the diving goalkeeper into the right hand corner of the net.
With both sides having identical form records of just one defeat in their last eight games, it came as no surprise when Harriers drew level four minutes later.
Zaine Francis- Angol delivered a low cross and James McQuilkin volleyed home from 15 yards. The lively Elton Ngwatala went close with a long-range strike, before netting on 39 minutes.
The Frenchman timed his run to perfection to beat Alex Whittle to another Francis-Angol centre, giving Max Crocombe no chance from close range.
While the first-half provided much entertainment, the second proved to be a scrappy affair until Southport deservedly drew level on 64 minutes.
Fane attempted to turn away on the edge of his own box, but succeeded only in losing possession and Phenix fired a low drive into the bottom right hand corner of Snedker’s goal.
Gordon introduced Evan Garnett for the injured Ben Whitfield and the substitute made an immediate impact, racing on to Ngwatala’s pass.
He squared from the by-line for Tyrone Williams to net his first professional goal from close range in the 76th minute.
Eight minutes later, the substitute found himself beyond the Southport backline as he latched on to Arthur Gnahoua’s weighted pass.
He controlled the ball well and beat Crocombe to net his first goal in Harriers colours, following his move from Belper Town.
In added time at the end of the game, Southport substitute Jack Ryan raced clear on to Almond’s through ball.
Despite Snedker getting a hand to the shot, the pace on the ball took it into the net to give the home side hope of a comeback.
Harriers were in determined mood though and saw out the game to record the win, as they prepare for life below non-league’s elite division for the first time since 1983.Subscribe to our Newsletter