Three goals in Extra Time seal trip to Shrewsbury in Second Round
Fleetwood Town earned a Second Round tie at Shrewsbury Town but it took a devastating spell of three goals in eight extra time minutes to finally see off plucky Southport.
The non-league side had found a way back into a game dominated by Town to take the tie to extra time at 1-1.
Aaron Amadi-Holloway's first half goal was cancelled out by a late equaliser from Ashley Grimes before Cian Bolger, Ashley Hunter and Amari'i Bell ensured there would not be a Cup upset at Highbury.
Town's team included six changes from Saturday's defeat at Port Vale while Southport manager, Steve Burr, made one change from the win over Maidstone United. Nathan Ferguson replaced injured James Caton.
Southport had the first opportunity of the game, after three minutes, when Devante Cole mistimed a challenge on the edge of the area. Neil Ashton hit a poor free kick and Town cleared the danger. It was a similar start to the game at Haig Avenue with plenty of endeavour in midfield but no threat to either keeper.
There was a moment of panic for the Cod Army on the quarter hour mark when a cross from the right by Ryan Higgins deceived Alex Cairns and hit the crossbar. Four minutes later, Kyle Dempsey created his side's first chance, an incisive run to the edge of the area followed by a firm left foot shot which forced Magnus Norman to save to his right.
A second opportunity came in the 23rd minute when Bell played a well-timed pass inside the defender. Cole ran on to it and forced a save from Norman at the near post. Further good approach play ended with Dempsey shooting wide after 28 minutes. The quality touches came from Town but, as in the first game, Southport were proving stubborn opponents.
Their resistance finally gave way after 32 minutes. The goal was created by good work from Cole on the left. His cross found Amadi-Holloway in space and the striker made up for lost time through injury, a deflected shot wrong-footing Norman, albeit with the aid of a deflection.
Town lost concentration momentarily, Jordan Lussey testing Cairns with a shot, but it was a rare opportunity for the visitors as the Sky Bet League One side asserted their authority and were very much in the ascendancy as the half time whistle went.
The momentum continued after the break. Norman was forced to concede a corner on 50 minutes after Glendon had found Ball in acres of space. Dempsey, the pick of the Town players, broke quickly soon after, causing further back-tracking in Southport's defence. Grant tumbled in the area but the referee waved play on.
Hunter replaced Ball just before the hour and watched as Cole made a long run into the Southport area, the defence finally blocking his progress.
Grimes came on for Ferguson after 68 minutes and tested Cairns with his first touch, a header from close range. Former Fleetwood player, Jamie Allen, spurned another clear chance just two minutes later as Southport suddenly sparked into life. Rosler replaced Grant with the more defensive option of Eggert Jonsson.
Town retaliated. A mistake by Higgins put his defence under real pressure - they survived and Bolger joined the fray, for Amadi-Holloway. Bolger took up an unfamiliar position in attack, a position he has played in briefly before off the bench.
Southport found a way back into the game with an 86th minute equaliser. Town could not deal with an Ashton cross to the back post from the left and Grimes headed past Cairns from close range.
The visiting fans came alive and suddenly Town were hanging on in a game they had dominated. They came forward and Southport's defence had to be on their mettle. Hunter had a shot saved by Norman as extra time beckoned. Dempsey jinked his way into the area before firing over.
Bolger reverted to a three-man defence in extra time. Three minutes in Hunter brought a superb save from Norman. From Glendon's corner, Bolger headed powerfully past the keeper. By the sixth minute the tie was over as Hunter raced on to a high ball from Dempsey, ran on and finished with aplomb. The effervescent striker then set up Bell for a fourth, the defender's first for the club.
There was an occasional flurry from Southport and their supporters chanted continuously but the endeavour and fight shown throughout the tie had been extinguished. Town dominated possession and saw the game out. Cole had a chance to get on the scoresheet but was denied by Norman. The striker's frustration was evident. He certainly deserved a goal.
Fleetwood Town: Cairns, Nirennold, Pond(C), Eastham, Bell, Dempsey, Glendon, Grant (Jonsson, 72), Ball (Hunter, 59), Cole, Amadi-Holloway (Bolger, 78)
Southport: Norman, Ashton, Nolan, Thompson, Allen, Jones (Gray, 84), Lussey, Weeks, Howe (C), Higgins (White, 105), Ferguson (Grimes, 68)