I asked Sandgrounder South (SS), Kevin Carter (KC), Swansea Savaloy (SwanseaS) and AmneSiac (A) of the Southport message board a few questions in the build up for the Cup tie on Saturday:
HOW ARE YOU DOING IN THE LEAGUE?
Fourth in the league
SS: Better than we thought after last season, home form could/should be better.
KC: Not too bad thank you. We’re currently fourth in the table, behind Yeovil Town, Chester City and Doncaster Rovers (making us the highest part-time team in the Conference)
A: 19 points from a possible 27 (at home) isn't too bad! I'm happy with our home form; we can't be expected to win every game! The only disappointment for me, results wise, was the Kettering game. ! The big tests will obviously be the visit of Chester and Yeovil in the coming weeks.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR TEAMS BEST GAME THIS SEASON?
SS: Possibly Woking, because the goals started to go in (won 5-1)
KC: That’s a tough one. I don’t feel as though we have played to the best of our ability so far this season, but have still managed to get some good results. I will say the second half display against Woking just a month ago (12th October). We were 1-0 down at half time, finished 5-1 to Southport. Steve Whitehall bagged a hat trick in 10 minutes - nice.
WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU WILL FINISH THE SEASON?
SS: 6th, just out side the play-offs
SwanseaS: We'll go up!
DO YOU GET A GOOD ATMOSPHERE GOING AT HAIG AVENUE?
"I would expect a very good atmosphere against Notts County"
SS: Depends, but no not on a regular basis.
KC: Haig Avenue is hardly the San Siro, but there can be a lot of noise there, depending on the game. The FA Cup match will be a tough game against big league opposition, so I would expect a very good atmosphere against Notts County. This season the atmosphere’s been a little disappointing however, for several reasons. Possibly because a drop in attendance to below 1000, that has seen the Brick End (the covered terrace) a little emptier than previous years.
WHO DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR RIVALS (LOCAL OR OTHER) AND WHY?
SS: Rivals in the league, Morescum. Locally Wigan, hate Wigan.
SwanseaS: Morecambe and Marine.
ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT YOU GOT INTO THE FA CUP 1ST ROUND?
KC: No, at all. We have only played one round previous to this, at that was at home to Bridlington Town – three leagues below us.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST REACTION WHEN YOU HEARD YOU HAD BEEN DRAWN AT HOME TO NOTTS?
SS: "who are they" no seriously, good draw for the bank manager... will it be on Sky? Do pigs fly?
SFC will never die
KC: Would probably be the money. Non-league clubs nowadays rely heavily on as many pennies they can get, and as we know we wont win the competition (pessimist, I know), we may as well try to make as much money as possible from it.
SwanseaS: nice tie, we'll win!
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE CROWD WILL BE?
The home fans
SS: Hopefully if it is a dry day (yeah right) 3800, if it is pouring then 2800.
KC: Around 4500
SwanseaS: sell out.
WHICH TEAM WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO DRAW IF YOU GOT THROUGH TO THE NEXT ROUND AND WHY?
SS: Wigan, so we can beat them! After that West Ham away, so we can beat them too!
KC: That would all depend on who else gets through to the next round. Quite possibly Wigan though, at home. There is quite a rivalry between the two teams dating back from when Southport were replaced by Wigan in the football league, losing the vote by just one. Plus it’s local.
SwanseaS: Swansea for obvious reasons so we could beat the living daylights out of them Welsh!
We'd love a tie aginst Wigan
WHAT IS YOUR RECORD LIKE IN THE FA CUP?
SS: Excellent, we only lose once a season!
KC: It’s not been too bad actually, we beat Mansfield some years back and were unlucky to lose to Darlington.
SwanseaS: Mostly first rounds. Have reached the Quarterfinals a few times in the olden days.
WHICH OF YOUR PLAYERS SHOULD NOTTS COUNTY FANS LOOK OUT FOR?
SS: Thomo, if he's fit. Soley if he plays clean!
KC: Gary Bauress, most definitely. Doesn’t feature much, and will probably be on the bench for the game, but if he does come on, you’ll see what I mean.
SwanseaS: All of them! Seriously, probably Soley and Pickford...workhorses of the team (Soley is when he plays).
HOW DO YOU RATE NOTTS COUNTY?
SS: average (sorry)
KC: Quite highly
SwanseaS: Er...not the best at the moment are you?!
WHICH NOTTS COUNTY PLAYER DO YOU THINK WILL CAUSE YOU THE MOST TROUBLE? (If you know any of course!)
KC: Talent-wise I have no idea.
SwanseaS: Stallard...has been a proven goalscorer down the last few seasons.
SS: 1 - 2 to NCFC
KC: As the game has extended highlights on Match of the Day, it will be the most boring 90 minutes of football you will ever see. 5-4 to the Port.