Southport 1-0 Luton

Alan Wright's managerial reign at Southport began with an impressive 1-0 victory against much-fancied Luton.

Midfielder Jamie Milligan, playing his first game for Southport, netted a 25-yard free-kick to seal the win.

The Sandgrounders were also indebted to goalkeeper and fellow debutant Danny Hurst, who kept out Shaun Whalley's penalty in the closing stages.

It compounded Luton's misery after Steve McNulty saw red for violent conduct just before the hour.

Earlier, Danny Hattersley and Matty Challoner almost doubled Southport's lead but Luton keeper Mark Tyler produced excellent saves to deny the pair.

And when Luke George fouled Andre Gray in the box, 10-man Luton were unable to capitalise as Hurst spectacularly prevented a Hatters equaliser.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Southport manager Alan Wright told BBC Radio Merseyside:

"I've been seen saying to the players all week that they had to believe they could beat Luton.

"To be fair, they've taken everything on board that we've been doing in pre-season and they put it into practice today.

"In the end, I think we came out worthy winners and it could have been by more.

"There were some fantastic individual performances, and as a team collectively we were fantastic."

Luton Town manager John Still told BBC Three Counties Radio:

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Post-match: Luton boss Still

"We were beaten and we deserved to be beaten, so I've got no issues with that. We didn't produce the sort of form I think we're capable of.

"[Southport's goal] was unfortunate for us. Having said that, I don't think we did enough to win the game. Did we do enough to get something from it? If the penalty goes in, we might look back and 'go 10 men, we've battled on, we've fought well' but we didn't.

On Steve McNulty's red card:

"He has a responsibility, not just because he was captain today but he has a responsibility as a person. We weren't playing great, and we wanted to get back into the game, and I felt he let his team-mates down."

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