SOUTHPORT will be glad to see the back of Easter after they lost both their fixtures in the UniBond League Premier Division over the weekend.
After going down at Droylsden on Saturday, they were beaten by Stalybridge at Haig Avenue and made a major contribution to that unexpected setback with a shambolic performance in defence.
The visitors had to include an untried goalkeeper in Jean-Paul Ndjebayi and Southport capitalised on two errors by him to establish a half-time lead.
But in the second half he had virtually nothing to do as Stalybridge capitalised on Southport's own mistakes.
Stalybridge took the lead after 11 minutes when former Southport player Phil Eastwood beat Earl Davies and set up Andy Hayward, who beat Steve Dickinson comfort-ably from inside the penalty area.
Southport however were level seven minutes later when Ndjebayi failed to hold a long range free-kick from Barry Jones and Kevin Lead-better, returning from a two-match suspension, volleyed the ball home. Carl Baker converted a penalty for Southport in the 27th minute after the goalkeeper had again missed the ball and Kevin Parr handled to prevent it crossing the line.
Parr was booked and Baker hammered the spot-kick into the net.
But Southport threw away three potential points with two lapses at the start of the second half.
Play had only been in progress for 40 seconds when Earl Davis was dispossessed by Hayward, the ball cannoning off the Stalybridge player to Nathan Wharton who turned it into the net from a narrow angle.
And Southport shot themselves in the foot again in the 53rd minute when Eastwood capitalised on another mistake by Davis for a simple third goal.
After that Southport did most of the pressing, but it took a superb one-handed save by Dickinson to prevent Eastwood increasing the visitors' lead.
Southport now round off the season with two home matches but they will have to show better form than they did on this occasion if they are to finish on a high note.
SOUTHPORT: Dickinson, Stone, Byrne (Mortimer 76), Davis, Jones, Pickford, Baker, Price, Daly, Robinson, Leadbetter (Mulvaney 66). Subs: Allen. REFEREE: Mr D Handley.