PREVIEW | Mariner Mission

PREVIEW | Mariner Mission

Southport will be looking to continue their Emirates FA Cup run on Tuesday evening as they welcome South Shields to The Pure Stadium.

After beating Morpeth Town 2-1 in the previous round, Liam Watson will be hoping his side can progress against Lower league opposition again.

The Port head into this game after missing out on match action on Saturday, as their Vanarama National League North game against Kettering Town was postponed due to positive Covid-19 tests in the Poppies camp.

Opposition:

Tuesday’s opponents, South Shields, secured their place in the Emirates FA Cup third qualifying round with a rampant 0-4 victory away to Ashton United.

Prior to that, the North East side needed penalties to overcome Warrington Town in the first qualifying round, after the game finished in a 0-0 draw.

The Mariners have endured a mixed start to their Northern Premier League Premier Division campaign, winning two, drawing two and losing one.

Last time out, they claimed their second league win of the campaign, with a 1-3 victory over Bamber Bridge.

The men in charge:

Joint managers, Lee Picton and Graham Fenton, have been in charge since 2012.

The pair won four trophies together within their season of being at the helm at the 1st Cloud Arena, including the FA Vase.

Fenton’s playing career saw him reach the Premier League, turning out for Aston Villa, Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers.

Key Player:

A familiar face amongst the Mariners’ squad is former Port striker, Jason Gilchrist.

The St Helens born attacker, enjoyed a productive first season at Haig Avenue back in the 2017/18 campaign, as he finished top scorer in the Vanarama National League North with 26 goals.

Since joining South Shields last summer, he has impressed in the North East, as he scored 23 goals in 37 games in the last campaign.

Previous Meetings:

The two sides will be pretty familiar with one and another, after coming head to head in last year’s FA Trophy.

Watson’s side were unable to claim victory first time of asking in the away trip to the North East, as things finished 2-2.

Raul Correia and Jack Sampson were amongst the scorers for the Port, whilst Gilchrist bagged one for The Mariners.

In the replay a few days later at Haig Avenue, The Port produced a 3-1 victory.

Final Thoughts:

Southport will be hoping to repeat last season’s victory and progress to the next round of the competition.

With only two competitive games under their belt so far, Watson’s side are still gelling and finding their feet.

Despite being lower league opposition, South Shields will provide stern competition.

Written by Amos Wynn

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