Tranmere boss Micky Mellon hailed his side’s professionalism as they defeated Southport 2-0 in an FA Cup replay to set up a third-round tie against Premier League Tottenham.
Connor Jennings scored two stunning first-half volleys to see off the non-league outfit and League Two Rovers can now start preparing for a home clash against Mauricio Pochettino’s title-chasers.
“We were made to work very hard for it over the two ties so we’re delighted to get over the line with fantastic support, a great atmosphere, TV cameras – we know why they’re all here,” said Mellon.
“We just needed to be very professional and good at whatever the game asked of us and we’re very grateful that the players were.
“We’ve been made to play two games in three days, Southport were able to rest their entire team. We never once moaned and just got on with it.
“We’re delighted now to have that tie with Spurs in January.”
Jennings gave the visitors the lead in the 14th minute when he hit a sublime 30-yard volley that dipped beyond the helpless Dan Hanford.
The former Wrexham captain then doubled Tranmere’s advantage two minutes before the break when he showed fine technique to volley home Jake Caprice’s cross.
Southport fought back in the second half but could not find a way through, with Rovers captain Steve McNulty a rock in defence.
“The second goal, that’s us getting caught too far up the pitch attacking two minutes before the end of the first half,” said Sandgrounders boss Liam Watson.
“That’s where you can turn around and say a little bit more experience in the side might have been beneficial.
“I don’t want to have a pop at any of the players, though. We’ve had a good run and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.”
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