Southport Through On Pens

George Newell completed an emotional return from injury to score the winning penalty as Southport overcame Darlington in a shoot-out to progress in the Buildbase FA Trophy.

After 11 months on the sidelines with a broken leg, Newell returned to the field for the first time as a late substitute before rolling home the decisive spot-kick.

After a draw in regular time, the Port progressed with five flawless penalties, Connor Woods, Marcus Carver, Josh Hmami, Charlie Oliver and Newell all converting, while Tony McMillan saved from Ben Hedley.

Having taken an early lead through Jordan Archer, the Port should have won the tie inside the 90 minutes, controlling most of the game and being denied twice by the woodwork in the second half.

This was a ninth game without defeat at Haig Avenue for Liam Watson’s side and they made the perfect start, Archer converting a fourth-minute header after a surging run and cross from Niall Watson.

There was a sharpness to the home side’s attacking play, Doug Tharme delivering a good ball which just missed the head of Archer again before a nice exchange between Charlie Munro and Hmami had threatened to unlock the Darlington defence, only for the visitors to clear.

Archer also sent the ball over with a clever flick after Munro and Woods had combined.

The visitors had their moments, too, Jarrett Rivers drawing a good early save from McMillan, making his 249th appearance in the Port goal, before Nathan Charman also went close.

The Port should have extended their lead early in the second half as they were twice denied by the crossbar in the space of two minutes.

Archer saw a lopping effort from the edge of the area cannon off the woodwork, before Woods did likewise with a scorching effort from range.

It was a reprieve that Darlington seized, Charman equalising on the hour by finding the bottom right-hand corner after a good turn on the edge of the area.

For a brief period, the visitors threatened to take the initiative, Jack Lamber’s low shot taking a deflection just wide but it was Southport who finished the stronger.

Marcus Carver, on as a substitute, saw his effort cleared from under the bar by Jake Lawlor after spotting Tom Taylor out of his goal.

It meant the game was settled by penalties, Newell converting after McMillan had saved from Hedley as Southport progress to the third round away at Farsley.

Southport: McMillan, Oliver, Anson, Tharme (Buckley-Ricketts 51), Woods, Munro, Archer (Newell 87), Hmami, Watson (Carver 72), Bainbridge, Edwards.
Subs not used: Mason, Vassallo.

Darlington: Taylor, Hedley, Hatfield, Charman, Rivers (Mondal 71), Lambert, Lawlor, Purver, Griffiths (Dos Santos 61), Cooper, Ellis.
Subs not used: Smith, Wheatley, Martin.

Referee: Michael Crusham

Attendance: 429

Southport Brewery Sponsored Man Of The Match Tony McMillan.

Match Highlights Here

Post Match With Liam Here

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