We profile Barnet's opponents on Saturday, Southport

Southport boss Martin Foyle. Picture: Action Images

Southport boss Martin Foyle. Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport by

After losing just five times in the final three months of last season, Southport would have been looking to kick on under John Coleman this season.

However, the former Accrington Stanley and Rochdale boss opted to leave the Sandgrounders just five months after succeeding former Aston Villa full-back, Alan Wright, as manager.

The 52-year-old replaced Wright in December 2013 and oversaw a turnaround in form which led to the Merseyside outfit finishing in 18th place in the Conference, comfortably avoiding relegation.

However Coleman left the Merseyrail Community Stadium at the end of the season, after informing the club of his desire to “manage in the Football League” – he has since taken over at Irish Premier Division side Sligo Rovers.

Coleman has been replaced by the former Port Vale, York City and Hereford United manager Martin Foyle.

Fifty-one-year-old Foyle has previously managed both the Minstermen and the Bulls in the Conference in very different circumstances.

With Hereford’s financial situation looking more bleak by the day, Foyle left Edgar Street on March 19 before issuing a winding-up order against the financially-stricken club due to the non-payment of money owed to him.

Appointed as Coleman’s replacement on May 3, Foyle has bolstered the Sandgrounders’ squad, after a number of players left at the end of the season.

Among the arrivals has been experienced goal-scorer, Richard Brodie. The 27-year-old scored 54 goals in 98 starts at York and worked with Foyle for two years before being snapped up by Crawley Town.

Brodie’s time with the Red Devils did not work out, though, making just 25 league starts in three years with the Sussex outfit, whilst spending time away from the club with a succession of loan spells.

Signed on a free transfer by hometown club Gateshead at the start of last season, Brodie scored twice in four starts for the Heed, before linking up with Foyle once more, this time at Hereford.

A loan stay with Southport towards the end of last season brought just one goal in 11 league starts but Foyle signed the England ‘C’ international on a permanent basis in the close season regardless.

There are several players at the club who have worked under Foyle before, with three joining from beleaguered Hereford this summer.

Goalkeeper Daniel Lloyd-Weston is one, whilst centre-back Dominic Collins and winger Micah Evans have also both pitched up at the Merseyside outfit after leaving the now Southern League side. A tough start to the new campaign saw the Yellows lose 1-0 to the much-fancied Forest Green Rovers on the opening day, before succumbing 3-1 to league-leaders Halifax Town.

Torquay United were held to a goalless draw at Plainmoor a fortnight ago, before Southport claimed their first win of the season, 2-1 at home to Altrincham.

The upturn in form continued at AFC Telford United on Bank Holiday Monday, where Southport were denied their first away win in more than 12 months after conceding in the 89th minute to draw three apiece.

A brace from Brodie, his third of the season, and one from debutant Johnny Gorman had helped the Port into a 3-2 lead before the ten men equalised.

Probable Southport line-up: Lloyd-Weston; Connor, Foster, Collins, Fitzpatrick; Evans, George, Kay, Gorman; Brodie, Hattersley.

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