PREVIEW | Super Sunday
Dec 1, 2018 1578 Views

PREVIEW | Super Sunday

The magic of the Emirates FA Cup returns, with Southport entering the game, against League 2 Tranmere, in excellent form.

On Form

The last time Liam Watson’s side suffered a defeat was back in October, with six wins and one draw meaning an unbeaten November followed.

As the club enter the Christmas month, which is another busy period, the Port will be hoping they can continue in a similar vein.

The basis of this current form all comes from the squad’s success in the Cup, which gave the team a platform to build on strong performances.

Cup Journey

Victories against Farsley Celtic, Curzon Ashton, Ashton United and Boreham Wood has seen them reach this stage of the competition, with sides of the top two divisions in the country entering at the next round.

Regardless of how well the team has done so far, Sunday’s opponents, Tranmere, will provide the fiercest test of the season to date.

Whilst the lads in Old Gold netted nine goals in the cup run and knocked out higher league opponents Boreham Wood in the last round, everyone will have to be on top form entering this second round tie.


Tranmere’s progression to this stage of the cup wasn’t straight forward, as a replay was required against Oxford City following a dramatic 3-3 draw and a late James Norwood goal to keep them in the competition.

Norwood was on the scoresheet once again in a far less dramatic replay.

Paul Mullin added a second for Rovers to secure a 2-0 victory and a place in the second round.

Manager Micky Mellon and his side enter this match on the back of a few bad league games, suffering a 5-2 defeat against Grimsby despite taking an early lead in the week.

Before that came a 1-1 draw with Oldham and a 3-2 loss against Crewe.

Clearly the Super White Army are suffering defensively at the moment and it will be something Southport will want to capitalise on.

Of course, the team will have to be strong defensively as well, with Tranmere having a dangerous attack.

So far in the league this season they have scored 30 times, and whilst they may have ended this month on a big defeat, October finished with a massive 5-1 win over Crawley.

The impressive Norwood was on target twice that day and will certainly be the man who needs to be stopped and watched.

The 14 goals from the former Forest Green forward has certainly been important in Tranmere’s current league position, sitting in 7th and one spot off the playoffs.

The 28-year-old also scored on 19 occasions last season and has clearly adapted well to being in a higher league.

His strike partner, Paul Mullin, has also scored on five occasions and will be another threat for the Port defence.

This goal scoring threat is just a continuation from last season where they scored 78 times throughout the season. And despite losing top scorer, Andy Cook, to Walsall in the summer, the side have battled on well.

Micky Mellon’s side are clearly used to winning after finishing second in the National League and earning their return to the football league with a dramatic 2-1 win over Boreham Wood at Wembley.

Sunday’s game is set to be a tough match, but the rewards of victory would be huge for both sides. A place in the third round is the dream, and despite being two divisions lower than Tranmere, the thought isn’t too far from a reality.

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Written by Amos Wynn

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