Chester FC ended a run of four successive defeats in the National League with a 1-0 success at Southport.
Evan Horwood's exquisite lob midway through the second half separated the two sides and brought the Blues their first win since a 2-1 success at Braintree Town on January 7.
After the nightmare of Maidstone United, Blues boss Jon McCarthy opted to bring Kane Richards and Johnny Hunt back into the starting line up, with Hunt slotting in at left back having missed the previous two games through suspension.
Southport came into the game knowing three points was vital if they were to boost their hopes of hauling themselves away from the drop zone and new manager Andy Preece was boosted by the arrival of Tranmere Rovers striker Louis Almond on loan, although he had to make do with a spot on the bench.
Chester certainly started in a more positive fashion that seven days previous and went close to opening the scoring on six minutes when James Alabi and Evan Horwood combined to find Tom Shaw whose 18-yard effort cannoned off Magnus Norman's left-hand post and bounced clear to safety.
The Blues looked far more solid than at Maidstone but Southport posed plenty of questions with new signing Lyndon Meikle, on loan from Barrow, proving a thorn in the side of Luke George at right back.
Sam Hughes, partnering Ryan Astles at the heart of defence had to be alive to the danger to outmuscle Jamie Allen after the Southport forward had latched onto a pass in the area and was just about to pull the trigger from 10 yards.
The same player then saw an angled 12-yard effort well held by Alex Lynch in the Chester goal while, at the other end, Ryan Lloyd saw his effort from 20 yards drop well wide of Norman's goal.
Meikle went close with a sweetly struck effort from 30 yards before Shaw tried his luck again from distance only to find Norman equal to his efforts.
Chester managed to ride a flurry of Southport corners as the home side looked for a breakthrough but the defence held firm, although Andrai Jones should have done better just before the break when he blasted well over from 10 yards.
After the break Southport emerged with plenty of purpose and heaped pressure on the Blues backline in search of the opener.
Liam Hynes skewed an effort wide before Meikle was in the thick of it again, firing at Lynch from 12 yards following great work from Ryan Higgins and Jones.
Chester managed to alleviate some of the pressure when James Alabi managed to skip two yellow shorts before curling a 25-yard effort just over Norman's goal.
Southport continued to try and carve openings and Meikle almost connected with a low Allen cross, but it was Chester who would break the deadlock.
A long punt forward from Lynch caught the Southport defence flat footed and Horwood expertly lifted the ball over Norman from the edge of the area to hand the Blues the lead.
The goal lifted the Blues and they could have made it two when substitute Elliott Durrell rolled wide from a tight angle after referee Martin Coy waved away protests after Hunt looked to have been fouled.
Richards curled a free-kick over from 25 yards with five minutes left but it was the home side who finished the stronger and they threw everything at Chester in the closing stages in search of a leveller and both Jim Stevenson and Liam Hynes hit the bar in the space of two minutes, but the Blues held out to record only their second win of 2017.
A welcome boost ahead of Tranmere Rovers next week.
Sam Hughes : A return to the heart of the Chester defence for the teenager and he didn't disappoint.
Strong in the tackle and composed throughout, he deserved to be on the winning side and a clean sheet to boot. He thrives at centre back.
Southport: Norman, White, Nolan (McKenna 69), Murray, Allen, Hynes, Jones (Almond 69), Meikle (Grimes 83), Stevenson, McKeown, Higgins. Subs: Cundy, Weeks.
Chester: Lynch, Hunt, Hughes, Astles, George (Vassell 46), Horwood (Mahon 83), Lloyd, Shaw (Durrell 55), Joyce, Richards, Alabi. Subs: Roberts, Hudson.
Goals: Horwood 67.
Attendance: 1,496 (496 from Chester).
Referee: Martin Coy (Durham).