FRIENDLY: Southport 2 Wanderers 'B' 0

Teenage goalkeeper Luke Hutchinson produced an outstanding performance as the B team stepped up their preparations for the new season.

With the Whites taking on their highest standard of opposition yet in the shape of National League North side Southport, Hutchinson was tested a number of times.

And the 19-year-old – who extended his contract with Wanderers this summer – responded superbly as he gained more valuable experience on another night of learning for the young Whites.

Hutchinson was beaten twice but Southport only secured victory in the last minute when they finally found a way past the Whites’ keeper for a second time.

Image removed.

Hutchinson was called into action early on when he kept out an effort from Niall Watson following a cross from Connor Woods.

And with the scores level, Wanderers almost grabbed the lead as they grew into the contest.

Connor Stanley’s precise through-ball picked out Conor Carty, who tidily fed attacking partner Gez Sithole for an effort that went flew over the bar.

Southport then went ahead with half an hour gone when Niall Watson steered home an in-swinging corner at the back post.

But Wanderers again threatened before the break in another invaluable work-out for Matt Craddock’s squad, which included defender Eric Yoro for the first time following his summer signing from Irish outfit UCD.

Full-back Max Conway again looked dangerous and when he burst past several Southport defenders the lively-looking Sithole was just unable to convert his cross.

Connor Stanley.JPG

Following a change of referee at the break, Southport again started quickly with Dylan Vassallo forcing Hutchinson into another smart save.

And despite Conway and substitute Lynford Sackey creating problems for the hosts’ defence down either flank, Wanderers couldn’t force an equaliser.

Hutchinson continued to keep his side in the game as a terrific double save firstly denied Woods before keeping out a follow-up from Adam Anson.

But the inspired keeper was unable to prevent a second goal in the final minute when a deflected effort from Woods ended hopes of a fight-back as Port secured a third successive win in their build-up to another season in the sixth tier of English football.

Wanderers’ ‘B’ team conclude their pre-season schedule when they go to Warrington Town next Tuesday night.

Attendance: 726 (161 away)

Wanderers B: Hutchinson, Yoro (Sackey 45’), Carty (Tweedley 62’), Conway, Sithole, Senior, Tutte, Pettifer (Sharples 80’), Grivosti (Frimpong 80’), Toure. Subs: Litherland, Halford, Jones.

Southport: Mason, J. Doyle, C. Doyle, Anson ©, Woods, Archer, Quansah, Hmami, Vassallo, Watson, Bainbridge. Subs: Oliver, Munro, Carberry, Trialist A, Trialist B

Pictures by Karl Dunkerley

Read Time: 3 mins