Southport manager Liam Watson was left delighted by his sides showing as they forced a FA Cup replay after falling two goals behind before a Marcus Carver bicycle kick won them the replay.
The win saw them book a spot in the Third Round Qualifying against Spennymoor thanks to Carver’s wondergoal.
But the first matchup between the two almost went entirely different as Chorley fired two beyond Cam Mason in the Port goal but a great long-range effort from Connor Woods kick-started a fight-back before the former Magpies striker came back to haunt his former side.
Tuesday’s win over Jamie Vermiglio’s side was the Yellows’ first of the season after coming agonisingly close on more than one occasion.
Despite the winless start, Watson has previously spoken highly of his sides efforts but believed the midweek win was a deserved one.
“Delighted with the performances in both games, showed tremendous attitude, character, everything to get back into the game on Saturday.
“There’s no point us getting back in it if we’re not going to win it and turn up on Tuesday and we did. We defended when we had to defend and we looked really dangerous when we managed to get forward, so really pleased, really delighted with the application the players had.
“We deserved the win, the fans deserved the win, we’ve been knocking on the door anyway, the performances have been really good.”
A spell of three draws and three defeats made for a gloomy outlook on paper but during the course of the opening six games, Watson was pleased with the desire and grit shown.
Their first win could’ve easily came at the PURE Stadium a few weeks ago as Gateshead secured a point after a lat fightback, scoring with the last kick of the game.
“The big thing is, results will always come if the performances right and our performances of late have been right. We should’ve had more points on board but we haven’t, again I’m pleased to say it hasn’t affected the confidence and the lads keep turning out good performances. The lads keep scoring goals as well which is always helpful.
“The amount of little knockbacks and setbacks they have and keep coming back, it tells me there’s hunger, there’s fire in the belly’s. There’s a real determination to actually succeed which is massively important.”
Carver continued his rich goalscoring form making it back-to-back goals following Saturday’s late equaliser. The forward’s spectacular volley atoned for an earlieer penalty miss.
“His goal tally already tells you he’s already scored more goals this season than he did in the whole of last season, what’re we in? September. He could end up quadrupling the amount of goals he got last year. Marcus has always had a reputation of where he works hard and he does work hard for the team and people like that deserve the rewards.”
For the Southport manager, there is one addition in particular who has exceeded his pre-season expectations.
That man being Chris Doyle who at the time was Port’s third signing of the summer from FC United of Manchester.
“They’ve all been very, very good. I’ve got no complaints or doubts about anyone. The standout one for me and what he’s brought is exactly what we needed was Chris Doyle. Leadership, he’s a man, vocal, he’s a leader, a winner and brilliant attributes to have and to be honest he’s actually better than I actually thought he was.
“We know how hard it’s been to get our win so we won’t take anything for granted, we’ve just got to put the same amount of effort and application into every single game and we do that there will be other wins coming along every quickly. If we don’t do that, we’ll be scratching around for results.
“I believe a club like Southport should always be aiming for the first round of the FA Cup every year. Let’s face it, it’s a terrible draw to get Chorley away in the second qualifying round, followed by Spennymoor in the third qualifying round that’s another horrible draw. I think the last time we got to the First Round we had two difficult away draws and then a nice easy home draw in the fourth qualifier so the aim is to get through and hopefully the draw is a lot kinder.”