Southport 3 Vauxhall Motors 2
THE Motormen did not make life easy for their superior counterparts as they bowed out of the FA Cup on Saturday.
Motors went into the second qualifying round tie as the underdogs against the better-supported Sandgrounders, currently flying high in Blue Square North.
But by the final whistle, Carl Macauley’s men were disappointed not to get at least a replay out of the game after pushing the hosts to the limit.
Motors began brightly and were rarely second best. Tom Rooney had an early shot blocked and Jordan Holmes dragged an effort wide, but Motors fell behind on 13 minutes. They were undone by a well-worked set-piece as a throw-in was flicked into the path of Neil Robinson who finished clinically.
Both Rooney and Karl Noon were looking lively for the Motormen up front, with the former striking a superb volley beyond Southport keeper Tony McMullen just before the break to send the sides in all square at the interval.
Just six minutes into the second half, Motors were 2-1 up when Rooney comfortably converted a spot kick after Noon had been brought down in the area by Alan Moogan.
It was a lead Motors held for only nine minutes, however, as Southport again scored from a throw-in, Robinson grabbing his second of the day.
Rooney and Noon led a charge to restore Motors’ lead but on 77 minutes Southport again used their throw-in weapon, forcing a save from James Coates at the expense of a corner.
When the ball was swung in, Robinson’s header crashed against the bar, allowing substitute James Connolly to steer the ball home and eliminate Macauley’s battlers.
Vauxhall: Coates, Owens, Dames, Brannan, Griffiths, Holmes, Holden (Robinson 74), Burke, Noon (Wright 88), Rooney, Egerton (Nelson 81). Subs not used: Hannigan, McDowell.
The Motormen kicked-off a run of three home fixtures last night by hosting Blyth Spartans in the league – a match played after the Pioneer had gone to press.
Gateshead visit the Motassist Arena on Saturday before Southport head to Motors for a Setanta Shield tie next Tuesday (October 7).
Motors’ youth side waved goodbye to the FA Youth Cup in the first qualifying round at Formby on Sunday, losing 5-0.
Meanwhile, the club are hunting for a goalkeeper at under 13 level. Anyone interested should phone Linda Edmunds on 0151 339 5447.