Southport take on defending champions AFC Fylde in the Second Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday in the first competitive fixture between the clubs.

The Port have already gone a round further than they managed last season but the Vanarama National League side now stand in the way. Fylde, meanwhile, will be hoping to retain the trophy they won first the first time last season.

Their win in the final of this competition was the latest milestone in the rapid progress made by the Lancashire side. Fylde, who used to be known as Kirkham & Wesham, have had a meteoric rise from the North West Counties League to the National League in just eight years.

Their progress has been laced with silverware and last season culminated in a 1-0 victory over Leyton Orient in the Trophy final.

In 2016 Fylde left their old home of Kellamergh Park for their new multi-million pound Mill Farm Sports Village.

The rise of Flyde started in their first season when they won the North West Counties League on goal-difference.

This earned them promotion to the Northern Premier League Division One North. In their second season in the division they made the play-offs but lost to Hednesford Town on penalties. The following season they gained promotion through the play-offs winning 4-3 on penalties beating Ashton United.

After gaining promotion to the Conference North they finished second in their first season but missed out on promotion after being beaten 3-1 on aggregate by Guiseley. The following season they once again missed out on promotion after losing in the play-off final to North Ferriby United.

In 2016/17 Fylde would win the Conference North, gaining promotion to the National League. They have been in the league since, qualifying for the play-offs in their first season before losing to Boreham Wood. Last season, as well as winning the FA Trophy, they once again made the play-offs losing heavily to Salford in the final.

This season has not been a good one for Fylde as they currently find themselves in the relegation zone 15 points off of the play-off spots.

Southport may not have been able to emulate Fylde in terms of winning the competition but their best run did see them finish runners up to Cheltenham Town in the 1997/98 final. The Port will be looking to cause an upset against the current holders when they make their first visit Mill Farm.

Written by Josh Birch

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