MATCH REPORT | Gilchrist Brace Sinks Mariners

Jason Gilchrist’s second half double was enough to sink Marine in the first round of the Liverpool County FA Senior Cup.

Two goals in four second-half minutes from the forward was enough to set Port up with an opportunity to seek revenge on Tranmere Rovers in the next round, after they knocked them out in the FA Cup second round, earlier in the season.

Questions were raised prior to kick off if the game would go ahead after every weather condition possible battered the pitch but the hallowed Haig Avenue fought off the adverse circumstances and temperatures.

A tense first half saw little action from either side but the visitors enjoying the majority of the chances.

Steven Irwin and Michael Elstone saw a number of their shots blocked with the Marine captain Kenny Strickland forcing Josh Tibbetts into an easy save after the shot-stopper miscued his clearance.

Despite the Mariners, wearing their all blue strip, Liam Watson’s side enjoyed a lot of possession.

Morgan Homson-Smith, Jordan Richards and Devarn Green all provided an outlet for Southport in the first half with Richards and Green linking up well down the right-hand side but they struggled to create any guilt-edged opportunities.

With the game lacking in quality as the second half began and penalties on the horizon, both teams upped their game.

Starting the second half as they finished the first, the Northern Premier League side enjoyed some early chances. Charley Edge’s free-kick had Tibbetts scrambling but the Port ‘keeper did well to tip his effort round the post.

Defender, Chris Doyle, was a menace in the air for Neil Young’s side but on a number of occasions failing to trouble the Southport goal with his aerial prowess.

As the hour mark approached, the play-off-chasing National League North side turned on the style, finding further joy down as they did in the opening 45.

Australian full-back Reagan Ogle rode two tackles before plopping the ball on Gilchrist’s head, only for last season’s top goal scorer to force Joe Hilton into a relax diving save.

But two minutes later, they were in front. Paddy Lacey, making only his first start since signing in January, found Gilchrist on the edge of the Marine six-yard box and he drilled Southport into the lead.

It never rains but pours at Southport and one goal quickly became two. With Homson-Smith and Gilchrist linking up.

An incisive, defence-splitting pass from the Port winger left the forward bearing down on Hilton, who coolly slotted through the legs of the Everton-loanee to make it 2-0.

Despite the two-goal deficit, Marine pressed for a goal. Their best chance came when a quick free-kick caught Port napping.

Irwin thought he pulled a goal back, only to have his deflected attempt cleared off the line, moments after a goal mouth scramble caused trouble in the defensive ranks.

Elstone, too came close when his left-footed strike, destined for the top-left corner was tremendously denied by an acrobatic save from Tibbetts.

In the end, the hosts ran out 2-0 winners setting up a quarter-final clash with Tranmere Rovers.


Southport (4-4-2) Tibbetts, Richards, Ogle, Edwards, Parry (capt) (86′ Hollins), Lacey (68′ Doyle), Green, Davies, Gilchrist, Archer, Homson-Smith.

Subs not used: Sampson, Charles, Hanford.

Marine (3-4-2-1) Hilton, Tattum, Short, Shaw, Doyle, Barnes, Strickland (capt), Irwin, Elstone, Murray (81′ Mitchley), Edge (64′ Carney).

Subs not used: Mendes, Cummins, Hynes.

Attendance: 240

Referee: Liam Corrigan

Report by: Stephen Killen (@SteKillenBL)

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