After FA Cup action success against Warrington Town last Saturday, Saints are back to National League North action next weekend with a trip to Southport.
The 2-0 win against The Wire sets up a mouth-watering 4th qualifying round tie at the Victoria Ground, home of National League Hartlepool United. Before then is an equally vital league fixture with 3 points at stake against a Southport side with strong home form though currently 12th in the table. Scoring goals has been The Sandgrounders’ weakness, only the two bottom-placed sides, Blyth Spartans and Bradford (Park Avenue) have found the net less often. Yet Liam Watson’s side managed five goals in their FA Cup win over Farsley Celtic on Saturday to go through to the next round where they will meet Altrincham. Defensively ‘Port have been solid. Only York City, Brackley and Gateshead have conceded fewer goals so far in this campaign.
Kevin Wilkin’s side have improved away form, winning both the last two away fixtures at Curzon and Kidderminster and have lost just once now in 11 games.
This will be Saints’ third ever visit to the wide open spaces of Haig Avenue. In 2017-18 we came away with a win after Aaron Williams netted in the only goal of the game to get us back to winning ways after rare back-to-back defeats. Meanwhile last season the sides played out a goal-less draw. In the two home fixtures between the teams, Saints won 4-0 and 2-0 so have yet to concede in four games.
Everything points to a tight tussle with both sides seeking the win to maintain their push up the table and for a boost ahead of big FA Cup ties next week.
If you cannot get to the game you can follow the action on BBC Radio Oxford and via the club Twitter feed.