The Bucks remain bottom of the Vanarama National League North, but saw a chance to cut the deficit to those above taken away when Connor Woods equalised Adam Livingstone’s freakish first-half opener.
Wilkin felt his team possibly deserved more, saying “I think we have had, by and large, the best moments in the game and felt we deserved to win the game, but give credit to Southport; they’ve battled hard, they’ve taken a bit of a chance and caught us on the counter and fair play to them. I think overall we’ve had the better moments and the better chances, but we need to be more ruthless in front of goal.”
Livingstone’s first goal for the club put the Bucks ahead in the 39th minute, firing in an outrageous effort that took everyone by surprise, not least Southport keeper Tony McMillan. Whether the Scottish wing-back intended it or not, Wilkin felt his side deserved some good fortune:
“If you continue to put the ball into the right areas then you deserve moments like that. We perhaps haven’t earned enough of those sorts of moments. I’d hold my hand up and say that it was a little bit fortuitous, but that’s what you get from working hard, putting the ball in the right areas and showing that bit of desire and quality; these things happen for you, and they happen on a more regular basis the harder you work.”
The manager was keen to accentuate the positives, but recognised there remains more to do:
“It was nice to take the lead, but we have to build on that. There were some good moments after that where really we should have given ourselves that cushion to take the game away from Southport.”
The Bucks have yet to taste defeat in 2023, but face a tough test of that record when they travel to Chorley on Tuesday evening, where Wilkin will be seeking to build on the progress made so far:
“There’s more of an air of optimism around the group, and around the place, I feel, and we need to continue to make that the case. We’re making better decisions now and generally just showing a better quality on the ball. We’re clearly not at the level that we need to be, but the lads are getting on with it and understanding and recognising moments better than they did when we first came in.”