Three first-half goals put Southport on the way to a dominant win at Blyth Spartans.
Bead Bauress opened the scoring after just three minutes to lay the foundations for victory, with David Morgan, Jack Sampson and Ryan Astles also finding the target.
The result lifts Liam Watson’s side into third place, leapfrogging Chester ahead of the festive double-header between the teams, the first installment of which takes place at the Pure Stadium on Boxing Day.
Although it was a conclusive win, Southport had to withstand periods of pressure, particularly at the start of the second half when the home side pulled a goal back.
Kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes due to the late arrival of the visitors, but once underway Watson’s side wasted little time in taking the lead, Bauress slotting the ball home after Devarn Green advanced down the right before crossing to Morgan.
Back in the team after a three-game absence, Green caused all manner of problems for the Blyth defence in the opening stages, forcing a reshuffle at the back for the home side.
Blyth almost leveled when a low shot from Lewis Harkins was parried by Charie Albinson. The ball looked to be creeping over the line but Albinson recovered to claw the ball away just in time.
Morgan increased the Port’s lead after latching onto a slack header from Jack Sanders to pounce, and Sampson added a third shortly before half-time.
He finished a fine move which saw Zehn Mohammed release Morgan, who took the ball to the by-line before cutting the ball back into the patch of Sampson and he converted from a matter of yards.
Blyth started the second half with intent and they cut the visitors’ lead after fine work from Robbie Dale saw him take the ball into the area before lifting a shot against the crossbar, leaving Rhys Evans to convert the follow-up.
Albinson was required to produce a double save as Southport’s resilience was tested but the three-goal cushion was restored just before the hour.
On the back of scoring in midweek against South Shields, Astles got himself on the scoresheet again, nudging home a throw-in from Jack Doyle, meaning the Port were able to see out the result with an air if assurance.
The result is Southport’s seventh win from their last nine league games and they will be looking to continue their good form during the busy festive period.
Blyth Spartans: Hemming, Evans, Scott (Hutchinson 45), Mullen, Sanders, Thackray, Hawkins, Hunter, Amantchi (Sweet 46), Roberts, Dale.
Subs not used: McKeown, Devitt, McGlade.
Southport: Albinson, Mohammed, Doyle, Winnard, Astles, Morgan, Benjamin, Wood (Correia 46), Green, Sampson (Oliver 62), Bauress (Woods 70).
Subs not used: Hanford, Homson-Smith.
Referee: Adam Herczeg