The fact that the match, on this day in 1988, even took place is remarkable. Few witnessed it, only 77 officially recorded, but it was to extend the Sandgrounders’ unbeaten run to eight games, a sequence that stretched back to the start of December.
With the two previous games having been postponed, Southport were desperate for this game to go ahead. Not many teams can claim to have played during a Hurricane, but this game went ahead so Southport and Gainsborough can count themselves as part of a pretty exclusive view. And if you had been wondering what to do with yourself when your television screen blacked out, as happened to millions of other people, maybe you found yourself amongst the 77 hardy, or perhaps slightly mad, souls at Haig Avenue.
Up the road at neighbours Marine, the hurricane force winds ripped three heavy corrugated metal sheets off roofing at the back of the stand at the College Road end and they had no choice but to call off their tie with South Liverpool on safety concerns.
Whilst Southport police were busy blasting mindless motorists who ignored danger signs on the flood-hit coastal road, and an Ambulance crew were luckily escaping unhurt from the effects of a fallen tree which had crashed down on top of them as they travelled along Pilkington Road, David Eyres was busily adding to his goalscoring total with two more that saw the Sandgrounders through to the next round.
Gainsborough were clearly a side he enjoyed playing against having scored in the Away League fixture in November already, and he would add another goal against the same opposition in the reverse fixture at the end of April.
SOUTHPORT 2 – 1 GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY
Stadium: Haig Avenue
Competition: Northern Premier League Cup / 2
Southport Line-Up: Paul Evans, Paul Byron, David Eyres, Paul Allen, Brian Jackson , Chris Waring , Joe Kelly , Colin Littlejohn , John Owens , Brian Gardner , Rob Sturgeon ,
Subs: Ben Lavelle , Frank Gamble (Joe Kelly ),
Goals: David Eyres, David Eyres,
Considering the conditions manager Micky Taylor was pleased with what he saw “The lads did well considering the weather and I was pleased with their attitude”