Blyth Spartans made it back to back wins in the Vanarama National League North with a 3-0 win at the Merseyrail Community Stadium, securing their second straight clean sheet in the process.
Second half goals from Michael Liddle and Greg Rutherford were added to in injury time when Sean Reid converted a penalty after a handball in the area.
The result moves Spartans up to fourth in the National League North tables as they head into the FA Trophy opener against Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday.
The visitors were on top from the first minute of the game, creating numerous chances in the first 45 minutes.
The first guilt edge chance fell to Jarrett Rivers when he swivelled in the penalty and lashed an effort on target – Jon Worsnop on hand to palm the ball away. Damen Mullen then pulled a shot wide before Sean Reid forced a fine save from Worsnop and Rivers sliced the rebound wide of the target.
Credit to Southportwho responded with Jordan Hallam fizzing a right footed volley from 22 yards out just over the crossbar.
Blyth almost took the lead on 28 minutes. Jarrett Rivers cross was met by the head of Nathan Buddle – guiding his effort onto the crossbar.
An early substitution in the 38th minute. saw Greg Rutherford replace Adam Wrightson, who took a knock early on. The former Berwick man almost proved an instant hit – millimetres away from finishing a Dale cross.
With five minutes remaining in the first period, Peter Jameson was called into action. An effort from the edge of the area deflected off a Spartan defender, Jameson just getting back in time to tip the strike over the crossbar.
Spartans started the second half with the same intent they showed in the first and got their reward on 54 minutes. Dale the provider finding Liddle who finished with aplomb for his second goal of the season.
The second followed seven minutes later. Rivers breaking down the right flank before clipping in a cross onto the head of Rutherford who powered home for his first goal in a Spartans shirt.
The third came in injury time when Reid converted from the penalty spot after a home player handled.