Port stand tall on the big oc­ca­sion to frus­trate Rovers

Southport Visiter - - Past Times - TRAN­MERE ROVERS ........................ 1 SOUTH­PORT ........................................ 1

BY ALAN JONES

BIG games re­quire big per­for­mances and not only did South­port de­liver in em­phatic fash­ion at Pren­ton Park on Sun­day, they se­cured a re­sult with a goal wor­thy of the oc­ca­sion.

Brad Bau­ress found the tar­get in mag­nif­i­cent style to earn a fully-mer­ited draw for the Sand­grounders against Tran­mere Rovers, en­sur­ing their name fea­tured in the third round hat on Mon­day night.

South­port’s per­for­mance against a team ranked two di­vi­sions and 59 places higher was ex­cep­tional and by the time the fi­nal whis­tle sounded in front of the bril­liant 766 trav­el­ling fans, it was the vis­i­tors who had looked the most likely to find a goal to set­tle this Emi­rates FA Cup tie at the first at­tempt.

As it is, the teams will meet again at Merseyrail Com­mu­nity Sta­dium to de­cide who pro­gresses and their show­ing here means South­port will ap­proach the re­play with rel­ish.

Bau­ress struck with 20 min­utes re­main­ing, re­ceiv­ing a pass from Mar­cus Wood be­fore un­leash­ing a 30-yard thun­der­bolt which ar­rowed past the outstretched Scott Davies and hit the top right-hand cor­ner.

By that stage, South­port were firmly in con­trol, cre­at­ing chances and tak­ing the game to Tran­mere in a way which be­lied their sta­tus as un­der­dogs.

De­spite trail­ing at the break, there had been lit­tle be­tween the teams dur­ing a tight first half and as the game pro­gressed, the Sand­grounders showed they were more than ca­pa­ble of trou­bling their op­po­nents who cur­rently sit eighth in SkyBet League Two.

Tran­mere had taken the lead on 18 min­utes with a fine goal of their own, Jonny Smith, on as an early sub­sti­tute for the in­jured Dy­lan Mot­t­ley-Henry, fin­ish­ing a clin­i­cal break as he cut in from the left be­fore bend­ing a shot home.

That was one of the few chances cre­ated dur­ing the first half,

Con­nor Jen­nings and

James Nor­wood both hav­ing early sights of goal but South­port were able to con­tain the threat from a for­ward line with a strong pedi­gree.

The Sand­grounders set about the sec­ond half with real in­tent and they were able to main­tain that level of per­for­mance un­til the end.

Ryan As­tles saw a header saved by goal­keeper Davies and once Bau­ress had equalised, the vis­i­tors con­tin­ued to press.

Dion Charles found space on the edge of the area be­fore his shot was de­flected over, while Jack Samp­son had a header scraped off the goal-line and David Mor­gan also saw an ef­fort blocked.

South­port’s best chance of a win­ner came with a minute re­main­ing, Mor­gan re­leas­ing De­varn Green as the vis­i­tors broke swiftly but the sub­sti­tute could only place his shot over.

Goal­keeper Dan Han­ford pro­duced a fine re­flex save to deny Smith in stop­page time and Jen­nings had ear­lier shot into the side-net­ting af­ter weav­ing into the vis­i­tors’ area but South­port showed re­solve to go with their en­ter­pris­ing play.

The huge away fol­low­ing cel­e­brated with the vis­it­ing play­ers at full-time and they will no doubt al­ready be look­ing for­ward to the re­play.

Tran­mere Rovers (4-2-3-1): Davies, Caprice, McNulty, Mon­the, Ride­halgh, Har­ris, Gil­mour (Bux­ton 59), Mot­t­ley-Henry (Smith 10), Mullin (Tol­litt 46), Jen­nings, Nor­wood.

Subs not used: Ge­orge, Sut­ton, Stock­ton, Bakayogo. South­port (4-1-4-1): Han­ford, Richards, Win­nard, As­tles (Green 71), Ogle, Ed­wards (Parry 90), Charles, Mor­gan, Wood, Bau­ress, Samp­son.

Subs not used: Tib­betts, Gilchrst, Mueller, Archer, Hom­son-Smith.

At­ten­dance: 4,701

Ref­eree: An­thony Back­house

Man of the match: Brad Bau­ress

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