Southport play host to fellow National League North side Altrincham in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round on October 19, with a place in the first round proper up for grabs. 

The Port are no strangers to the first round, however.

They’ve made it there in six of the past nine seasons, going as far as the third round in 2015 when a last minute Chris Martin penalty for Derby denied them a lucrative replay back at Haig Ave.

There are three qualifying rounds between when Southport enter the competition in the second qualifying round to the first round proper, with those three rounds worth a combined £36,750.

That sort of money is a game changer to a non-league side. 

Last years’ competition was one to remember for The Sandgrounders, but it could’ve been so much more.

A 3-0 victory over Farsley Celtic kicked off their campaign in perfect fashion, before back-to-back 2-1 victories over Curzon Ashton sent The Port into the first round proper. 

Haig Ave will play host to another FA Cup clash for The Yellows on Saturday

They swept aside Conference Premier outfit Boreham Wood to set up a mouthwatering North-West clash with Tranmere at Prenton Park.

A Bradley Bauress wonder goal levelled the scores on the day, meaning a replay at Haig Ave would be needed to determine the outcome. 

By the time that game came around, both sides knew the winner would host soon-to-be European Cup Finalists Tottenham in a highly remunerative clash.

Two goals by Connor Jennings ended Southport’s run in the competition, meaning the Birkenhead side went on to face the Premier League giants.

In 2016, the Yellows hosted another North-West league neighbour as Fleetwood rolled into town.

The game was played in front of the BBC cameras on a frosty Monday evening.

They earned a well fought 0-0 draw to take back to Highbury. The well contested replay needed extra-time to settle it before the League One side ran out 4-1 victors.

With Southport now potentially just 90 minutes away from facing league opposition once more in the competition, we are hoping for another dazzling cup run to capture the attention of a wider audience and pack out Haig Ave once more. 

You can buy tickets for Saturday’s game here, or at the ground on the day. 

Pictures by Chris Heaton and Surprise Truck under Creative Commons Licence.

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