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02 December 2018 Venue Prenton Park Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

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English FA Cup

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Preview: Southport

29 November 2018

Setting the scene…
Tranmere Rovers return to Emirates FA Cup action at Prenton Park on Sunday when they host Merseyside neighbours Southport in the second-round, kick-off 2pm.

Looking to bounce back from Tuesday night’s 5-2 defeat away to Grimsby Town at Blundell Park, attentions now turn towards welcoming Southport to the Wirral, with a place in the third-round and a possibly tie against a Premier League side up for grabs.

Overcoming Oxford City away from home in a replay 2-0 just over a week ago through goals from top scorer James Norwood and strike-partner Paul Mullin, it’s Non-League opposition again for Rovers. 
Southport will make the journey across Merseyside having beaten Farsley, Curzon Ashton, Ashton United and Boreham Wood to reach the second-round stage.
Team news
Ollie Banks and Steve McNulty may be available for this weekend's game, confirmed Micky Mellon in his pre-match press conference. Otherwise, the manager doesn't have any further injury concerns
The Port’s season so far
Southport head to Birkenhead on Sunday for the Emirates FA Cup second-round tie at Tranmere having struggled in the National League North this season.
Currently sitting 18th in the sixth-tier of English football, the Port are winless this season at home in the league this season, but have won four games away from Haig Avenue, enjoying better success in the Cup competitions.
One to watch
Attacking midfielder Dion Charles is the Southport player who Tranmere’s defence need to watch when the two teams meet on Sunday.
The Preston-born 23-year-old began his playing career in the youth set-up Blackpool, penning professional terms at Bloomfield Road before moving to AFC Fylde in 2014.
During two years at the then National League North side, Charles scored 18 goals in 52 appearances whilst on the books of The Coasters.
Charles form at Non-League level saw him earn a transfer to his third Fylde Coast club, Fleetwood Town in the summer of 2016, making his debut in an EFL Trophy tie against Carlisle United.
He was loaned to FC Halifax Town in 2017/18, turning out 19 times at The Shay before the former Northern Ireland U21 international signed for Southport in January 2018.
He leads their goal scoring charts with six goals this season. 
Match coverage
If you are unable to make TRFC’s Emirates FA Cup second-round tie at home to Southport on Sunday, don’t worry as there are several ways that you can keep up to date with all the goings on at Prenton Park, you won’t miss a kick! 
You can now sign up to Tranmere Rovers’ iFollow, which allows access to extended highlights and interviews with manager Mellon and a player, after the game.
To sign up, click here
Alternatively, you can follow the action through our social media channels below, with full text coverage during the fixture, followed by a match report.
Twitter: @tranmererovers
Facebook: @trfcofficial
Instagram: @tranmererovers

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Match Reports

Report: Tranmere Rovers 1-1 Southport

2 December 2018

Tranmere Rovers and Southport played out a 1-1 draw in an end to end game in the second round of the FA Cup, which will go to a replay later this month at the home of the Sandgrounders.  

Jonny Smith opened the scoring with a fine effort following a great move but Bradley Bauress’ 30-yard second half strike earned the visitors a draw meaning that it will happen all over again. 

Rovers made two changes to the side that travelled to Grimsby in midweek with Jay Harris and Liam Ridehalgh replacing Luke McCullough and Zoumana Bakayogo respectively. Harvey Gilmour kept his place in starting 11. 

Harris looked to make the most of his recall and constantly pressurised the Southport midfield and it almost paid off a quarter of an hour in when nicked the ball from David Morgan, allowing him the chance to find James Norwood with some space in the ‘D’, although he placed his left footed effort over the crossbar.

Rovers linked up well however the majority of the first half was competed within the centre of the field, with Southport keen to deny Rovers any space to create a meaningful attack and so it resulted in a scrappy encounter.

The first chance of note came five minutes in when Rovers winger Dylan Mottley-Henry delivered a good ball to the penalty spot from the right flank, which Connor Jennings directed towards goal but it deflected over for a corner. Mottley-Henry suffered a cruel blow moments later though, being forced off on a stretcher after what looked like a pulled his hamstring. However it turned out to work in Rovers favour as substitute Smith opened the scoring nine minutes after coming on.

It was a fantastic goal from Tranmere too. Ridehalgh, playing his first full 90 minutes of the season, played a superb diagonal ball to Norwood on the right flank and our main man controlled the ball brilliantly first time before cutting it back into the area to Smith, where the Bristol City loanee curled a peach of a left footed effort into the far right corner of Dan Hawfords net.

Southport did create some half chances of their own with visitors strikers Dion Charles and Jack Sampson linking up well. Charles fired a couple of efforts at goal, one from outside the ‘D’ which went just over and then another, this time inside the box, which required Steve McNulty to slide in and divert the number-9’s shot for a corner.

Southport started the second half very positively but Rovers could have doubled their lead on a couple of occasions with Norwood heading just wide minutes into the half before Jennings nearly capitalised on the counter as he broke free on the left before toe poking the ball into the side-netting.

Rovers were left to rue their misses as on 70 minutes Southport found their equaliser. Left winger Bauress found some space 30 yards out in a central position to goal before releasing a bullet of a strike into Davies’ top left corner.

The visitors gained more confidence from their equaliser and were agonisingly close to going in front  when Dean Winnard rose well to head on target but a combination of Davies and Ridehalgh on the line saved Rovers.

Former Rover Davern Green had the chance to come back and haunt his old side when he was given the ball by Charles in the area with just Davies to beat but the substitute lacked composure and lashed his shot over.

Smith then tried to take the game into his own hands as it entered five added minutes as he forced a good save from Hawford, the keeper pushing his right footed effort over.

Right at the death a fierce effort hit by Jennings which went just over from almost 30 yards turned out to be the game’s final action. As a result both names will be in the hat for tomorrows FA Cup Third Round Draw before the sides meet again in the coming fortnight.

Davies, Caprice, McNulty (Capt.), Monthe, Ridehalgh, Mottley-Henry (9 Smith), Harris, Gilmour (60 Buxton), Jennings, Mullin (45 Tollitt), Norwood. Subs not used: George, Sutton, Stockton, Bakayogo.

Report by Jake Mathot

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