The 1998/99 season was notable for some much needed Cup success when the Port journeyed to Football League side Mansfield and triumphed 2-1 in front of 500 delirious Sandgrounders whose support that day was incredible. After such a giant killing performance the club was attracting great publicity and Charlie Clapham and Futch appeared on the live draw for the third round with expectations of a home draw against a top team. Number 63, Southport came out of the hat first to everyone’s delight, could it be Manchester United? No it was Leyton Orient, the feeling of anti-climax was apparent to all but it was a chance to progress further. Haig Avenue saw its highest ever Non League gate (4950) and extensive media interest but we went down 2-0 and the run was over. The run had started at Ramsbottom in the rain when 829 packed in to The Riverside Ground to give “Rammy” their highest ever gate, a figure that stood for nearly ten years until FCUM came to town.
Having been to Wembley in 1997/98, the town had FA Trophy hopes again and progression to the Quarter Finals but a poor showing at Forest Green saw us go out 4-1.
In the league we finished 18th with safety only being achieved in the last couple of games with a 3-1 home win against Leek Town when Lee Elam scored what today
would be referred to as a wonder goal.
The Complete Non-League History of Southport Football Club 1978 – 2008, by Trust in Yellow (Legends Publishing, 2008). ISBN 978-1-906796-01-3