Victorious Southport boss Liam Watson had nothing but praise for King's Lynn Town after seeing his side triumph to book their place in the last eight.
A first-half screamer from Andy Parry and a late strike from Steven Tames were enough to see the Sandgrounders end Lynn's epic journey in this season's competition.
The Linnets had accounted for five higher-league scalps on their way to the third round and the EvoStik Division One South minnows gave their illustrious visitors a real scare in front of a packed house at The Walks.
A gracious Watson said: "I'm really delighted to get through as it was probably one of the hardest games we've had this season.
"You have to give all credit to King's Lynn. They didn't look like a lower-level side to me, they were very, very organised and played to a great shape which was difficult to combat.
"The big lad Dunkley going off was a huge loss to them and a massive boost to us and that, with a wonder goal from Andy ,was probably the difference between the two sides on the day.
"I go away from this game hugely impressed with King's Lynn and also hugely impressed with our character. It took us 20 minutes for us to find our feet and match them."
Beaten King's Lynn Town boss Gary Setchell, who wants his players to use their cup exploits as a springboard for promotion, said: "I'm so, so proud of my players who have given absolutely everything and done the club and the town proud.
"Southport have come here and had to earn the win and their place in the next round. At no stage have we rolled over and gifted them a place in the last eight."
Lynn dominated the opening exchanges.
They almost took took the lead when Russell Dunkley crashed a header against the bar from five yards out.
Somehow Dan Quigley’s rebound in the ensuing scramble was hooked off the line and Southport breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Less than 60 seconds later, the Sandgrounders were in front.
A clearance harmlessly rolled towards the approaching Parry, whose venemous shot from 25-yards flew past Alex Street and into the net.
The wonder goal allowed a rattled Southport to settle into the tie.
Chris Almond saw an effort whistle over before Liam Willis headed a Shaun Whalley free-kick into the arms of Street.
A minute after the restart, defender Jason Lee’s half-volley was brilliantly tipped over the woodwork by Tony McMillan as Lynn began the second half how they had started the first.
Lynn huffed-and-puffed and half-chances fell the way of Jamie Thurlbourne and Danny Beaumont and Quigley as they put Southport on the back foot.
Port sealed their place in the next stage after a mix-up between Richard Bunting and goalkeeper Street, who had saved well with his legs to deny Tames a few minutes earlier.
Lynn skipper Bunting went to head the ball back to Street, who had already come for the ball, and Tames pounced.
The miscommunication allowed Tames to end the Linnets’ dream — and their memorable run.
|Lynn 4-4-2: Street 7, Watson 7, Gulliver 7, Lee 7 (Beaumont 76, 6), Yong 7, Spriggs 7, Quigley 7, Bunting 7 (White 88, 6), Thomson 7, Mulready 8, Dunkley 8 (Thurlbourne 60, 6). Subs not used: Johnson, Buhlemann.
Booked: Quigley, Bunting.
Southport 3-4-3: McMillan 8, Smith 7, Lever 6 (Willis 5, 7), Parry 8, Grand 7, Whalley 7, Ledsham 7, Owens 7, Almond 6 (Tames 46, 7), Lynch 7 (Benjamin 63, 6), Poku 7. Subs not used: Hibbert, Chalmers.
Booked: Grand, Whalley, Tames.
King’s Lynn Town stats
Shots on: 5
Shots off: 4
Fouls conceded: 9
Yellow cards: 2
Red cards: 0
Shots on: 4
Shots off: 7
Fouls conceded: 13
Yellow cards: 3
Red cards: 0