Setting the scene...
Tranmere Rovers secured their place in the third round of the FA Cup and a glamour tie against Tottenham Hotspur after a 2-0 win at Southport in a second round replay.
A first half brace, both volleys, from Connor Jennings sealed the victory as Rovers controlled proceedings from start to finish at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.
Tranmere Rovers manager Micky Mellon made five changes for the game against Southport. Notable inclusions back in the line up were skipper Steve McNulty and fellow centre back Manny Monthe.
Backed by a strong following from the Wirral, Tranmere made a positive start and deservedly took the lead in the 14th minutes through Jennings.
The inform winger unleashed a stunning volley from 20 yards which looped over the goalkeeper into the net, a quality finish from our number 11.
The non-league hosts were asking questions when breaking forward but it was Rovers who had the second meaningful chance of the game ten minutes later.
A delightful crossfield pass from Jennings to Paul Mullin but the striker through but under pressure, he over hit his shot which sailed into the Jack Carr Stand.
Southport's confidence was steadily growing as they looked to test Scott Davies in the Rovers goal with a couple of long range efforts which were just off target.
Ten minutes before the interval, Jennings looked to replicate his opening goal, this time, goalkeeper Dan Hanford was equal to the chance.
Davies was called into action for the first time in the 38th minute, tipping a looping back post header from Bradley Bauress, who scored the equaliser for Port in the first match at Prenton Park.
But just as it seemed TRFC were happy with a one goal lead going into the break, Jennings had other ideas and grabbed his second of the evening.
The winger connected with a Jake Caprice to slam the ball home as Rovers led 2-0 at the interval.
Into the second half, Rovers had two early chances, first Mullin had sight of goal but couldn't get a clean connection on his effort, whilst Norwood headed over the cross bar from a free kick.
At the other end, a long range strike from former Fleetwood man Dion Charles resulted in Davies pushing away for a corner.
Game management was key for TRFC as Southport pushed bodies forward as the clock ticked down with an FA Cup third round tie against Tottenham on the horizon.
And Rovers managed the game perfectly, minimising Southport to no scoring opportunities.
With ten minutes to go, Mullin was replaced by fellow forward Cole Stockton.
With little to do all second half, Davies pulled off an amazing save to deny Charles once more and as the hosts looked to capitalise on the rebound, the linesman correctly put his flag up for offside.
Four minutes left and Caprice was withdrawn for Adam Buxton.
Tranmere held firm and guaranteed their place in the third round to face Tottenham at Prenton Park. Ticket information will be announced in due course for the game.
Davies, Caprice (86), Monthe, McNulty, Ellis, Ridehalgh, Gilmour, Harris, Jennings, Mullin (Stockton 80), Norwood. Unused subs: George, Cole, Bakayogo, Sutton, Smith.
Tickets for our Emirates FA Cup second round replay at Southport will go on sale this Thursday 6th December.
We have been given an allocation of 1100 standing tickets and 206 seated tickets for this fixture, which will now take place on Monday 17th December, 7:45pm kick off.
Concessions (Over 65 and students): £6
U12 with a paying adult: Free
Tickets will be available from Thursday 6th December from Southport's website here