Alfreton Town conceded their first goal at home this season and failed to get on the scoresheet for the first time as Southport picked up all three National League North points.
After Steven Schumaker’s 57th-minute strike settled the match, Reds manager John McDermott could not hide his disappointment at a lack-lustre display.
“I am disappointed with the performance, disappointed with the effort, and the scoreline flattered us a bit if l’m truthfully honest,” he said.
“lt was a good opportunity to beat Southport. They are on a good run and have some good players, but l thought on paper we had a better team to go and beat them.
“We were disappointing as an attacking force. The back-line did their jobs — they had energy, read things and anticipated things, but from those in front it was not good enough.
“There was no movement. They looked like dummies up front, static — and that worried me a bit.
“The first half looked one-way, but we didn’t have that cutting edge up front — we were toothless.”
Only Tom Allan’s 13th-minute back header from a Tom Platt throw threatening the visitors’ rearguard throughout the 90 minutes.
Gary Roberts went close for the Sandgrounders from 25 yards just after the half-hour mark, then Billy Priestley had to hack a low drive from Steven Jennings out of play with the throw leading to Chris Elliott saving from Ethan Jones.
Southport were the sharper team after the break,
Jacques Kpohomouh headed on to the roof of the net and Elliott again produced a defiant save from Sampson, but the keeper had no chance with Schumacher’s clinical finish from the edge of the area after Bradley Jackson’s run and cross.
Elliott came to the Reds’ rescue again, superbly turning aside from Jones before Andrew White went close, but in a rare penetrative Alfreton attack Bradley Wood was unfortunate to see a decent effort blocked at source following a good move instigated by Jennings.
Wood went on to fire over from the edge of area as well as heading past the far post from a deep Adam Smith cross in the closing stages, but it was to be Elliott again who had the last word blocking from Jones with his legs.
ALFRETON: Elliott; Topliss, Shiels, Priestley, Allan, Wood, Disley [A.Smith 68], R.Jennings, Platt, Westcarr, Lavelle-Moore [Robertson h/t].
Other subs: Snodin, Marshall. Morrison.
SOUTHPORT: Turner; Jackson, White, C.Jones, Dugdale, D.Smith [Kpohomouh 23]. S.Jennings, Schumacher, Roberts, Sampson [Zama 65], E.Jones [Roache 90].
Other subs: Garner, Fletcher.
Referee: Alex Kirkley.