Date: 7th November 2010 at 1:57pm
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Wednesday progressed to the FA Cup second round with their first away victory in the competition for over a decade thanks to a 5-2 victory at Blue Square Premier side Southport.

Clinton Morrison scored twice and there were also goals for Gary Teale, Neil Mellor and Tommy Spurr as Alan Irvine’s men safely progressed despite twice being pegged back at Haig Avenue.

Paul Barratt and Matty McGinn twice had the battling hosts level in a second-half which brought six goals in 12 minutes.

But Wednesday’s superior quality shone through in attack as they responded with goals to fire them back ahead immediately before running away with the contest.

Wednesday made six changes to the side that lost 2-0 against Huddersfield in the league in midweek.

Jon Otsemobor returned at right-back following a three-game suspension, with Lewis Buxton dropping to the bench, while Tommy Spurr was preferred to Daniel Jones at left-back.

Marcus Tudgay dropped to the bench with Clinton Morrison taking his place alongside Neil Mellor in attack, while three changes were made to the Owls midfield with Gary Teale, James O’Connor and Tommy Miller replacing the injured Jermaine Johnson, Darren Potter and Chris Sedgwick respectively.

The hosts, as expected, came flying out of the traps and had the first shot on goal in the third minute when former Everton Academy player Alan Moogan looped a header into the arms of Owls stopper Nicky Weaver from a deep free-kick.

Wednesday did well to contain the hosts’ early enthusiasm though and found their way back into the game, with Mellor firing high over the bar following a good lay-off from Morrison.

It was to prove an early warning shot by the visitors as Wednesday broke the deadlock in just the eleventh minute.

A set-piece caused all kinds of problems inside the Southport box as the hosts were reduced to ten men due to treatment on an injury to Flynn, and Morrison diverted the ball across the face of goal for Teale to squeeze in at the far post for the opener.

It was a goal that came at just the right time for Wednesday but Southport looked for an instant response and came close when Paul Barratt fired a dangerous effort just wide of Weaver’s goal.

Southport didn’t push on as much as their home support would have liked though, with Weaver a relative spectator for long spells of the first-half, despite all the huff and puff from the Blue Square Premier side.

The visitors had the next best chance to score when Coke skimmed the woodwork from the edge of the box following a clever free-kick by Wednesday.

Wednesday had good chances to improve their lead, mainly through Mellor, who fired a shot from the edge of the box inches over the bar and then scuffed an effort wide when one-on-one with the goalkeeper when he really should have done better after being put through on goal by Teale.

The Owls had the momentum as the first-half progressed and should have been further to putting the game to bed when the half-time whistle came, but Southport were still in the game at just a goal down at the interval.

Half-Time: Southport 0-1 Wednesday

Southport boss Liam Watson called for ‘less beauty and more beast’ in his half-time teamtalk and got that in the opening few minutes of the second half from his troops.

And, after Coke drilled an effort wide for the Owls, Simm went on a positive run forward for the hosts before lifting his effort into Southport fans behind the goal.

The hosts perhaps had their best opportunity on goal five minutes after the restart when a deflected effort put Simm through on goal but the presence of Owls skipper Darren Purse was enough to put the Southport man off his effort.

The hosts’ early second-half pressure paid off on 52 minutes when Barratt produced a superb lob over Nicky Weaver to get the hosts level and send the home fans barmy at Haig Avenue.

But the joy lasted barely two minutes when Wednesday regained the lead almost instantly.

A long Tommy Spurr throw-in caused more problems inside the Southport box and Beevers won the header which allowed Morrison to turn and drill his effort against the post before Mellor smashed in the rebound to the delight of the Owls fans behind the goal.

Southport made a double change and the changes worked imminently for the hosts as substitute Matty McGinn saw a long throw-in headed back to him by Beevers before drilling in a powerful low shot through a crowd of players and into the back of the net to get the hosts on terms for a second time.

The game had a real cup tie feel about it now and Southport will have just been keen to stop the Owls from responding again.

But they failed to do it, this time Morrison getting on the end of a Teale ball to round Dickinson and produce a quality finish on the hour mark to put Wednesday ahead for a third time.

And it was 4-2 to the Owls just a minute later, Morrison doubling his tally for the match after Mellor crossed and O’Connor knocked the ball on for Morrison to produce a top-drawer finish.

Wednesday’s confidence was high and they drilled in a fifth on 64 minutes through Spurr.

The defender was given acres of space from a Teale corner to smash in from close range and make the Owls’ progression to the next round all-but secure.

Wednesday had further chances through Mellor and Coke to extend their lead but couldn’t add to Southport’s woes.

Irvine made his first changes in the 73rd minute with Tudgay and Sedgwick replacing Mellor and Miller respectively.

The hosts looked to have given up their fight, with the Owls looking more comfortable on the ball and enjoying more of the possession.

Morrison, on for a hat-trick, was hauled off with 13 minutes to go with what looked like a slight knock, Paul Heffernan coming on in his place.

The game was over as a contest but chances did come at both ends, mainly with the Owls coming close to continuing their freescoring approach.

Coke lashed wide and Tudgay also saw a header saved by Dickinson while at the other end Tony Gray drilled an effort wide.

But Wednesday safely secured their progression through the second round.

Full-Time: Southport 2-5 Wednesday