Thewlis hits hat-trick as Town storm to victory at Southport

Jordan Thewlis netted a hat-trick for Harrogate Town in the pouring rain at Southport. Picture: Town Pix
Jordan Thewlis netted a hat-trick for Harrogate Town in the pouring rain at Southport. Picture: Town Pix

A Jordan Thewlis treble put the seal on Harrogate Town’s fourth successive away win, a 4-1 triumph in horrendous conditions at Southport.

In high wind and torrential rain, Town put in a stormer of a performance with two goals in each half keeping them top of National League North.

The visitors got off to a dream start after just 30 seconds of Tuesday evening’s contest.

New signing David Morgan made his first act in a Harrogate shirt putting Joe Leesley clean through on goal, in ample space to square to Thewlis who simply tapped into a gaping net.

The surging runs and clever distribution of Josh Falkingham caught the eye throughout and he set up the second, a diagonal ball that Thewlis guided with his head into the bottom left corner.

Thewlis could have had a first-half hat-trick and Warren Burrell also came close following a corner, but Town looked in full control going into half-time 2-0 up.

With the weather deteriorating further over the course of the interval, Simon Weaver’s men were unable to replicate the chutzpah of their early play in the initial stages of the second period.

Indeed, their lead was halved 10 minutes after the re-start when James Belshaw let Nathan Lowe’s long-range skidder slip slightly out of his grasp - enough for Jones to get a touch and go down under the stopper’s challenge as he tried to recover.

With a penalty awarded, Gary Roberts hit the bottom left corner from the spot.

A spell of Southport pressure followed, but at the other end, Leesley had a 20-yarder repelled and Ryan Fallowfield came close to ending a surging run with a fine finish but was denied by Mark Halstead.

With the destination of the points still undecided, Thewlis decided it was time to wrap up the game and his hat-trick in the 73rd minute.

Leesley was slipped in behind and drilled in a low cross from the byline that Thewlis converted from close range.

The effervescent Leesley, who was at the heart of most that was good about Town’s play then added a fourth late on with a firm drive after his own corner was only partially cleared.