Southport and Fleetwood Town resume hostilities at Highbury Stadium on Tuesday evening following last week’s stalemate in front of the cameras at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.
Since the first clash Fleetwood have suffered two defeats, to Carlisle United in the EFL Trophy and away at Port Vale upon the resumption of their SkyBet League One campaign.
Whilst Southport were able to hold off a late comeback from Maidstone United to secure three invaluable points on Saturday, Fleetwood contrived to concede two goals inside the last fifteen minutes at Vale Park, losing 2-1.
The side on Saturday contained few changes from the draw against Southport but there will at least be one enforced change on Tuesday due to Chris Long, who had put the Fishermen ahead, seeing red late on.
Potential second round opponents Shrewsbury Town moved off the bottom of League One on Saturday thanks to a 2-0 victory over Oxford United, former ‘Port favourite Shaun Whalley notching in the 98th minute to seal the win.
If the Sandgrounders manage to get through to the second round, they will be hopeful that Saturday’s win is not the start of a Shrewsbury resurgence.
For now though it is Southport who are the form side. Six matches unbeaten including four wins is a run that gives hope that an upset could be on the cards, especially given Fleetwood’s fixture congestion over the last week.
If the run can stretch to seven games without loss then the Sandgrounders can dare to dream of another appearance in the third round draw, following the memorable yet equally heart breaking trip to Derby two years ago. Nearly 3,000 fans made the trip to the iPro Stadium that day – could that number be beaten if a trip to Old Trafford or Anfield was on the table?
By Christy Byrne
*Fleetwood Town v Southport, Emirates FA Cup first round replay, Tuesday, 7.45pm