IT was perhaps fitting that two headed goals would prove the Hatters’ downfall.
Southport produced a season best performance to defeat Luton Town, for many the biggest club in the Conference, at Haig Avenue on Saturday.
Liam Watson’s men out-fought and showed greater desire than the promotion hopefuls in what was a victory for tenacity more than anything tactical.
The Sandgrounders pounded away at a dispirited-looking Luton, but required a late surge to take this richly deserved win, one which takes them up to 19th in the Blue Square Bet Premier table, now one point clear of the bottom four.
Having registered not a single shot all afternoon, Matthew Barnes-Homer’s 74th minute opener was a bolt from the visitors in blue and one which left the Southport fans preparing to taste the bitter pill of undeserved defeat.
But, as Watson’s post-match comments reinforce, spirit courses through the club under his leadership and with eight minutes remaining the game’s outstanding player, Alan Moogan, headed home the equaliser from Shaun Whalley’s inviting cross.
Watson had by that time already thrown on fresh legs in a final attempt to overturn the cruel deficit and from substitute Paul Barratt’s free-kick, defender Kevin Lee stole in at the back post to nod Port into a 2-1 lead in the 88th minute.
Hysteria filled Haig Avenue at the final whistle, and though Watson was delighted with his side’s show of guts, he was keen not to get too carried away, with a trip to fellow strugglers Altrincham to come tomorrow.
“It is no disrespect to Luton to say we were the better team on Saturday,” said Watson.
“I don’t know whether our lads just wanted it that bit more but you can’t fault our attitude.
“These are three precious points but ultimately just another win. We’ll need a couple more but what Saturday has shown is that anyone coming to Haig Avenue is going to be in for a tough game.
“We should never have been behind but we have shown great character and commitment to get it back.
“We are in for a very, very tough game at Altrincham tomorrow night. What Kenny McKenna has done there is superb because when he took over they looked dead and buried.”
Port received a boost before kick-off with creative spark John Paul Kissock declaring himself fit, just days after fears he had broken his leg.
The former Everton man started against Luton and served up a fine performance.