Southport v AFC Telford: Bucks new-boy back on old turf
AFC Telford United new-boy Dom Smith has the inside track on tonight’s opponents.
The 22-year-old defender joined the Bucks on Friday from Shrewsbury Town.
He spent the first half of this season on loan at Southport, where lowly Telford are hoping to get a big win tonight to boost their survival hopes.
He said: “I get to see some familiar faces from a few months back, which is nice.
“Knowing some of their lads, having played and trained with them for a few months, I know the players there who like to get on the ball and play it around.
“That being said, the focus is on us and what we do.
“Obviously we want to get the win, that’s the main thing.”
Smith is well versed in the rigours of non-league, having also had spells on loan at Tamworth and Barrow.
He made 23 appearances for the Port, including a 1-1 draw at the New Bucks Head on October 28.
Marcus Dinanga put the Bucks in front in the first half, with Nathan Lowe equalising from the penalty spot late on.
Smith has enjoyed a couple of training sessions with his new team-mates, and added: “I think we’ve got a lot of ability.
“I’ve had some training sessions here now and I’m really looking forward to the game, getting out there.”
Southport have won seven of their last nine games in National League North, going from relegation contenders to play-off dreamers.
Managed by former Bolton Wanderers striker Kevin Davies, they are currently 10th – four points off the play-offs.
Telford are third bottom – three points from safety.
Bucks boss Rob Edwards said: “I watched them (beat Tamworth 3-0 at home) at the weekend.
“It was an evenly balanced game up until the first goal, which is always so important.
“They’ve won five in a row at home so we know it’ll be a tough test.
“It just shows what a good run of form can do for you.
“We’ve showed it the other way, where a bad run can leave you.
“They played on Saturday and we didn’t so we’re coming into it fresh, ready for the challenge.
“I always say it, every team poses a lot of different threats – we are ready for them.
“We have a lot of options for the game as well.”
Smith is not the only Telford player who will be bumping into familiar faces at Haig Avenue.
Defender Ross White and midfielders Jon Royle and Jordan Lussey have also played for the Sandgrounders.
Edwards has a fully-fit squad to choose from.