AFTER a three-goal dismantling of North-West Counties side West Didsbury and Chorlton, Burscough had remained winless in League play so far this season.
And in Saturday's FA Cup First Qualifying Round tie against Radcliffe, they met another side hunting desperately for a victory.
Again Derek Goulding persisted with a largely unchanged line-up; but for Joseph Camozzi returning to right-back and Mark Beesley making way for Liam Caddick as the second striker, all others remained at their stations from the midweek draw with Farsley.
Caddick went unused on the bench on Tuesday, and played as the foil to Niall Cummins last year, regularly surfacing at the lower end of the league's scoring charts, but relies on confidence to fuel his scoring. Goulding's astute decision to hand him the number 10 jersey was to prove a resounding success, as he fired the Linnets into the second qualifying round.
On a bright day that featured a number of flyovers from the Lancasters and Spitfires that entertained the seafront crowds at Southport, the Linnets begin the contest with a number of raids into the Pennine outfit's penalty area, Jordan Williams being the architect of a number of threatening salvos from the right wing.
Chris Tyson and Darren Brookfield both pressed from midfield, but each saw their low, long-range drives fizz wide of the target.
Long periods of Linnets possession were beginning to build, and Radcliffe's nerves began to fray after a series of miscommunications between goalkeeper and his defenders. Paul Williams headed a Jordan Williams free-kick wide shortly after Allan Collins replaced an injured Conor Roberts, but the Linnets returned to their bunker with nothing to show for their efforts.
Shortly after the second half, Radcliffe sprung a goal that seemed to surprise even their most partisan travelling support, and for ten minutes the Linnets convinced few that they had the ability to dig out a victory in the second half of a cup tie.
As the hour mark approached, Darren Brookfield - the diminuitive midfielder who skipped out of midfield last year in extra-time of a gruelling replayed preliminary round tie against Padiham to fire the Linnets through - was the last man anyone expected to see airborne inside the penalty area, meeting a looping cross and heading around the keeper, who looked on as the ball bobbled over the whitewash.
Four minutes later, it was Caddick's cue to vindicate his manager's selection, as he brought down a high ball over the defensive line, kept his balance and slotted beyond both the keeper and full-back.
Burscough continued to press for a third to seal the victory, with Paul Williams continuing to cause havoc amongst his opposite numbers at set pieces, and Joseph Camozzi complementing the work of Jordan Williams in undoing the right channel, but two was to be enough to put the Linnets into Monday's draw for the second qualifying round.