Call it an upset. Call it a shock. Call it the next stage of Boston United’s renaissance. Call it what you want... the fact is that the Pilgrims have knocked Southport out of the Fa Trophy.
Goals from Marc Newsham and Carl Piergianni saw Boston leave Haig Avenue with a 2-1 victory that may have raised some eyebrows in the world of non-league football.
Southport may be a division higher, but they began the day on the back of five straight defeats. In contrast, United were unbeaten in four and carrying momentum.
But all that mattered today was the result, and it is Boston who are in the round two draw - and £5,000 better off.
The Sandgrounders took an eighth-minute lead through former Premier League striker Nathan Ellington, in their first meaningful attack of the game.
Joel Logan - who has pace and trickery in abundance - got the better of Stefan Galinski and cut in from the right wing before seeing his curled effort parried by teenage United keeper Sam Vince.
But as the ball fell to the feet of Ellington he gratefully slotted home from close range.
If anything, the early goal acted to open the contest up.
United captain Ian Ross saw a 35-yard volley scrambled wide by Danny Hurst and Marc Newsham had a strike defelected over before Port’s Logan was guilty of missing a sitter.
Ellington found space down the left before moving inwards and teeing up the Southport attacker, who had a free shot at goal from 10 yards out.
But his casual sidefooter was too nonchalant, and Logan looked on in disbelief as his effort trickled wide of the target.
And that howler proved costly as Boston levelled in the 39th minute, following a period of sustained pressure.
Southport failed to deal with three Ian Ross corners, and after Galinski saw an effort deflected wide and Conor Marshall’s header was tipped over by Hurst, Newsham bagged his 98th goal for the club.
Ross’ corner fell to Garner, but after his strike was blocked Newsham was on hand to blast the ball into the roof of the net.
And it took just six minutes of the second half before Boston moved in front.
Ross was again the provider, this time from a free kick almost on the goalline. And as his dead ball was whipped into the danger zone, Carl Piergianni attacked the ball and thundered his header beyond the helpless Hurst.
Throughout the third quarter of the match, Southport looked thoroughly sorry for themselves while Boston continued to apply pressure.
The best chance that came the Pilgrims’ way fell to Ricky Miller.
Latching onto Ross’ defence-splitting pass, he beat David Fitzpatrick for pace before unleashing a powerful strike from 20 yards which Hurst could only force wide.
As the Sandgrounders attempted to force their way back into the contest they began looking dangerous in the air.
Ellington forced a header off target before Matty Flynn’s knock towards goal rebounded off the crossbar.
And from a 20 yard free kick Steve Akrigg saw his effort whizz inches over Vince’s crossbar.
The Pilgrims almost extended their lead when Newsham went free on goal, but his low strike was well smothered by Hurst.
But as the final whistle blew, Boston were more than settling for that 2-1 scoreline.
SOUTHPORT: Hurst, Smith (Rutherford 33), Akrigg, Flynn, Fitzpatrick, Hand, Brown, Milligan (Hattersley 69), Logan, Brodie (Osawe 62), Ellington; Subs (not used): Brown, Abadaki.
UNITED: Vince, Marrs, Steer, Marshall, Garner, Piergianni, Ross, Hall, Miller (Weir-Daley 77), Newsham, Galinski; Subs (not used): Milnes, Aujla, Sansara, Fairclough.
Ref: Ryan Johnson.