Everyone back to Haig Avenue
25 October 2014
FA Cup fever hit The Lamb for the third time this season when Vanarama Conference side Southport visited for the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round tie between the Lambs and the Sandgrounders.
Following two consecutive Saturday clean sheets Andy Morrell was looking to his side to progress to the 1st Round Proper but was forced to make two changes to the side that ran out at Brackley with Phil Trainer and Connor Taylor coming into the eleven while Jon Adams took a place on the bench and Rob Purdie, who attended the game on crutches, unable to feature.
The Lambs started proceedings, attacking the Castle End in the first half and quickly won a corner on the right which fell for Trainer, completely free and unmarked in the centre of the box, but he missed his shot.
As Tamworth worked the ball back into the area, Hibbert found himself pulled down by Southport’s Connor and Clarke stepped up to send Raya-Martin the wrong way from the spot (1-0, 3 mins) Green picked up a booking in the 7th minute for a seemingly clean take of the ball against Fitzpatrick which the home fans definitely didn’t agree with and when the Southport player took the freekick, the Lambs captain headed it away.
Southport keeper Raya-Martin willingly came out of his area and was unable to deal with Jackson but when the Lambs player advanced with the ball towards the area and left the keeper on the floor the referee’s whistle prevented the 12th minute goal scoring opportunity. A freekick for a foul on Clarke outside the D on 15 set up a good chance but the wall played their part in denying any glimpse of the goalmouth and Clarke lifted the loose ball high over the target.
A fine through ball from Green allowed Clarke to burst through down the right channel on 20 but he was quickly closed down and the shot at the keeper was ultimately lacking and more of a pass back. Taylor was unable to continue on 22 and so Thornton came on the field of play a bit earlier than he had perhaps expected.
Jackson was released down the left on 25 and although Thornton was seemingly free on the right his shot did get through to the keeper. Then at the other end Rutherford checked his run and lifted the ball to Hattersley who attempted a hlf hearted overhead finish and watched the ball roll past the near post, although the flag had already been raised against his position in front of goal. Southport’s Fitzpatrick found team mate Brodie with a pin point low left sided cross on 34 but the finish was poor and allowed Belshaw to gather easily.
Play quickly switched to the other end and a superb long range left footed strike from Thornton brought with it a great save from keeper Raya-Martin to deny him and keep it at 1-0 on 36.
On 40, Hibbertwas pushed down with the ball at his feet and so Thornton and Daniels decided between them who would strike the deadball from 35 yards but it came back off the wall. Green then prevented the Southport advance down the left and advanced himself from the half way line before shooting from 18 yards through a crowd of players but it wasn’t strong enough to get past the dive of Raya-Martin on 42.
Two minutes added time were shown at the end of the first half and Thornton clipped the ankle of Fitzpatrick on the Southport left wing but The Lambs were able to clear the danger.
The visitors restarted the match and they looked more in the game than they had in the first half, in the early exchanges but the first half chance came on 53 when Jackson sprinted to the left hand by-line and crossed strongly for Thornton who was able to get his head on the chance but not take the pace or much of the direction off the ball.
Brodie left the field for the visitors on 65 much to the delight of the home faithful as boss Gary Brabin looked to Marsden to add something that was previously lacking and Daniels was booked on 66.
Hibbert’s ball over the half way line on 67 allowed Jackson to burst int o the box and forced a left sided corner, A combination of Smith and Belshaw denied George an equaliser on 69 following Rutherford’s cut back from the left but he got a second bite of the cherry from the resultant corner when Belshaw was unable to hold onto his shot from 18 yards. (1-1, 70 mins)
Southport turned up the heat a little from then and Rutherford curled a shot over the bar from 20 yards out on 73 before planting a low right wing into Belshaw’s grasp on 74.
Goalscorer George was forced off the field after a clash on heads on 80 and then at the other end Jackson fired past the left hand post and Morrell came on for Hibbert. Southport’s Kay was booked on 82 for a reckless challenge on Morrell which left the Lambs boss reeling on the floor and from the freekick Jackson needed a helping hand to get back to his feet as the minutes ticked away.
Both sides worked to get the ball into the other’s areas as the clock ran down and three minutes added time was shown by the fourth official.
Thornton tried a dipping effort which Raya-Martin took at head height but it was the last action and both sides headed into Monday’s draw for the next round with a replay on Tuesday night.
Belshaw, Smith, Green (c.), James, Preston, Trainer, Taylor (Thornton 22), Clarke, Jackson, Hibbert (Morrell 81), Daniels
Subs: Adams, Gill (GK), Amenku
Raya-Martin, Collins, Foster, Connor, Lynch (Austin 52), Rutherford, Joyce, George (Kay 80), Fitzpatrick, Brodie (Marsden 65), Hattersley
Subs:Lloyd-Weston, Brogan, Mitchell, McDonald
Referee: Mr. S. Ross