Halifax Town 1
Southport progressed to the next round of the FA Trophy with a 2-1 victory over FC Halifax Town in their first visit to the Shay in over 5 years.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis it is somewhat surprising that tier 6 football is still being played, a sentiment offered by Liam Watson in his post-match interview and this was Southport's first fixture in 3 and a half weeks.
There was doubt the fixture would even commence as the effects of Storm Christoph ravaged the North of England along with the snow which had engulfed West Yorkshire in the previous week, but the game did take place due to the heroic efforts of the home side's ground staff who unveiled the pitch covers to reveal a pitch which held up for the majority of the game before becoming saturated in the final stages.
The game started well for the visitors fielding a 4-3-3 formation and the Sandgrounders found themselves ahead. A beautifully flighted right wing cross from David Morgan was met by the head of George Newell to fire Southport ahead.
Halifax pace and energy tore Southport apart and their equaliser was well deserved, breaking the offside trap to allow Earing to convert after the physical presence and endeavour of Kieran Green had caused Southport a number of problems.
Southport stayed in the game despite the offensive overtures of the opposition. In the second half Southport re-grouped and became much more solid in their approach. Defensive lynch pin Adam Anson was rewarded for a stellar performance with the winning goal, his quick feet defied his 6'3 frame as he pivoted to fire 'Port into a 2-1 lead.
As the clock wore down Southport had to endure some pressure from the higher league opposition who hit the woodwork on four occasions and had the heroics of veteran Tony McMillan to thank for keeping their lead intact. Southport had chances to put the game to bed themselves however the entertaining game ended with the visitors through to the next round to face National League leaders Torquay United at the PURE Stadium.
Report by Jonathan O'Byrne