Southport 0 Woking 0

Both teams had to share the spoils in a goalless draw, but it was a game Southport had chances to finish early in the first half, while Woking will rue three opportunities being cleared off the line.

The new full-time set up of Southport started the new campaign brightly, creating the early chances as Woking struggled to find their feet in the opening exchanges.

Lee Hoolickin took the first chance when he collected a ball from Alex Smith, but his shot was gathered well by Shwan Jalal. Moments later, a poor back pass from Simon Jackson put Jalal under pressure, with Dino Maamria collecting the loose ball, but Jalal composed himself to collect his resulting shot which should have been more decisive.

Alex Smith and Liam Blakeman tried their luck from distance, but the Woking defence held firm as Southport continued to apply the early pressure.

Woking waited until the half hour mark until their first real opportunity on goal. Shola Oyedele played a free kick ball across field to Craig McAllister who went between two defenders, but his shot from the edge of the area went just wide.

The pressure nearly paid off for Woking as Ryan Robinson pulled off a couple of successive instinctive saves, firstly from Steve Evans, with the ball rebounding to Liam Cockerill who again forced the custodian to pull off another block.

As the half time whistle loomed, Carl Baker collected the ball just inside the Woking box, but went down after a challenge from Steve Evans, who was perplexed by the referee's penalty decision. Captain, Mark Boyd, stepped forward to take the spot-kick, but his well struck shot hit Jalal's left-hand post, rebounding away for safety.

The second half continued in a similar way where the first half left off. Southport had two early chances with Blakeman lobbing the ball high over Jalal, which Daniel Bunce cleared off the line, and Alex Smith trying his luck moments later only to see his shot fly over the bar.

Woking continued to counter-attack with Steve Ferguson playing a ball across the area to Ollie Berquez whose shot was cleared off the line by Chris Lane.

The game continued to go from end-to-end, with Joe Fowler trying his luck from the edge of the area, but his shot was pushed away by Jalal. Down at the other end an Oyedele left-wing free kick found Gary MacDonald on the back post, but his header was cleared off the line by Stephen Rowland.

Both teams tried in earnest to break the deadlock, and it all seemed to be heading to a goalless draw, especially when Boyd's 25-yard free kick sailed over the bar with minutes to go. But Southport were awarded another free kick on the left side of the penalty area when Smith was fouled, but again Boyd failed to make any impact with a poorly taken effort.

In the end, Woking will be pleased to go away from Haig Avenue with a point, but Southport need to take their chances when gifted, and that will be something Paul Cook will be keen to develop over the coming fixtures.