Spennymoor 1 Southport 0.

Moors climbed into the National League North play off places after the ever-reliable Glen Taylor scored the only goal of the game against Southport.

Taylor scored his 14th goal of the season to continue Moors’ excellent run, which has seen them gather six wins and three draws since they lost at Gateshead in early September.

However, their performance wasn’t their best, but they showed plenty of character against a team that had been playing as well as Moors until Saturday.

“It was very pleasing to grind out a result because on other occasions, we would have let the game slide away,” said manager Jason Ainsley.

“We were nowhere near our performance levels from recent weeks, we were flat, but we’ve had two tough away trips. We weren’t back until 3 in the morning from Brackley the other night.

“I was pleased with a clean sheet. We know that we are going to be bombarded with balls into the box, and I thought we dealt with them ever so well.

“I thought our two centre halves, James Curtis and Nathan Buddle, were brilliant. As long as we keep clean sheets, then we’ll always create chances. When you have a forward like Glen, who scored from nothing, then you’ve always got a chance of winning the game. He scored out of nothing.

“It was a brilliant crowd, but unfortunately they didn’t witness the sort of performances of recent months, but what they did see was a real togetherness amongst the players. It wasn’t an entertaining game for the neutral, but it was a massive three points for us as we try to get into the play offs at the end of the season. There were some real dogged individual performances.

“We’ve taken seven points from the last nine, which is important because a lot of teams can catch us up in the table. You can lose a game and drop a few places, win one and you can jump into the play offs.

“We didn’t create a great deal, it was a bit of a stalemate, but it was a dogged win.”

There was a bright opening to the game, with Mark Anderson, who was restored to the starting line up in place of Ben McKenna, having a shot saved by Southport keeper Charlie Albinson, then at the other end, Southport’s Dean Winnard had a header blocked on the line. Moors replied with a good run by James Roberts when he burst down the right and fired past the far post.

Southport striker David Morgan, who was the League’s player of the month for October, then tried a 20 yarder that Moors keeper Mattie Gould easily held.

Moors had another chance when Jake Hibbs crossed for Nathan Buddle to head on to the roof of the net, and Anderson had an effort comfortably saved by Southport keeper Charlie Albinson.

But generally after that, the two in-form teams cancelled each other out.

Morgan was a couple of yards wide with a free kick from 25 yards, but Moors nearly broke through on the hour when James Curtis found Roberts on the left, and he set up Mark Anderson who fired just wide.

But six minutes later, the lethal Taylor broke the deadlock, with a low left foot shot from the edge of the box that easily beat Albinson in the bottom corner.

Moors had chances to extend the lead. Taylor had a close-range effort cleared off the line, then Chris Mason had a chance blocked and he put the rebound over the bar.

Taylor was again denied by Albinson from a few yards, but Southport missed a great chance with six minutes left when Connor Woods crossed for Zehn Mohammed to head towards goal, but Gould managed to save. And with a minute left, Ryan Astles headed a corner wide from a few yards out.

And Moors can climb even further up the table if they can beat Boston at the Brewery Field on Tuesday night.

Moors: Gould, Hibbs, Buddle, Curtis, Mason, Chandler, Henry (sub Boyes 74), Roberts (sub Cogdon 89), Ramshaw, Anderson (sub Hall 78), Taylor.

Subs not used: Brogan, Ward Attendance 1,333 In the FA Trophy, South Shields had a good 4-0 home win over Rushden and Diamonds, but Morpeth and Whitby both went out.

In the BetVictor North West, Marske are now second after winning 2-0 at Tadcaster, while Dunston won 4-1 at Droylsden.