It took two attempts to get past Halesowen Town in the FA Trophy in 1997 but all the talk had been about the managerial vacancy at Haig Avenue.
Following the resignation of Steve Joel in December, Peter Davenport had been placed in temporary charge. Disappointed at not being given the job on a full time basis Davenport “considered his options” and decided it would be too difficult to return to being just a player in a dressing room where he had previously been in charge, his final appearance coming in the initial drawn game at Haig Avenue. His parting shot was to claim he hadn’t been given any backing during his month in charge, something Clapham was quick to deny.
Former Tranmere Rovers assistant manager Ronnie Moore was the man Charlie Clapham turned to. Having spent 8 years as assistant at Prenton Park this was to be his first managerial role. Whilst Moore publicly asked Davenport to stay on as a player, his decision became clear to supporters when they turned up at a cold Halesowen Town and saw his name was missing from the team sheet.
Going into the game, Southport were without influential midfield skipper Brian Butler who had been sidelined with a knee injury which had required 15 stitches three weeks before.
HALESOWEN TOWN 0 – 2 SOUTHPORT
Competition: FA Trophy / 1R
Southport Line-Up: Billy Stewart, Andy Farley, Lee Anderson, Phil Horner, Martin Clark, Leroy Dove, Dave Rogers, Chris Sharratt, David Gamble, Andy Whittaker, John Morgan,
Subs: Paul Clarke, Chris Blakeman, Mike Turner,
Goals: Andy Whittaker, Andy Whittaker,