FC Halifax Town slipped to a 1-0 defeat against league strugglers Southport at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.
The Sandgrounders broke the deadlock in the 81st minute through Scott Kay to keep their hopes of avoiding relegation alive.
The Shaymen meanwhile slip to eighth in the league table, one point behind Woking who beat Gateshead.
The best chance of the game in the early moments fell in the Shaymen’s favour when Matt Pearson made a blistering run down the right-hand side and whipped in a cross, looking for Jack Muldoon but the ball was just marginally ahead of the striker.
Southport then responded straight away as Charlie Joyce fired an effort from distance inches over Matt Glennon’s crossbar. The Sandgrounders then began to build their own spell of pressure as they peppered the Shaymen goal with chances but Lois Maynard eventually got the clearance away.
Loan signing Muldoon looked bright in the first half, linking up well with fellow front-man Scott Boden as they looked to find the opening goal.
As the first-half went on there was few chances for either side. The Shaymen saw their appeals for a free-kick in a promising area waved away when Maynard was through on goal and was brought down outside the area.
Paul Rutherford attempted to catch Halifax on the break but his effort was dragged wide of Glennon’s post.
The referee Martin Coy had his say in a few key moments in the game, none more so then when the Shaymen won a corner at the end of the first-half, only for Coy to blow his whistle for half-time. Both teams made their way into the tunnel at the break with few clear cut chances for either side.
Neil Aspin decided to ring the changes at the break with Adam Smith coming on in place of Pearson. The Shaymen looked to build pressure with the pace of Maynard but his chance was cleared by the Southport defence.
The Shaymen then saw their pressure rewarded when Richard Peniket found the back of the net from an Adam Smith corner but the officials again had the final say as the goal was ruled out for a foul in the box.
Southport then began to build their own spell of pressure with a handful of chances from Paul Smith and Luke George before Richard Brodie dragged the penultimate shot inches wide of Glennon’s post much to the Shaymen’s relief.
Smith’s corners again caused problems for the Sandgrounders defence as Maynard saw his header go over the crossbar. Maynard then had another chance to break the deadlock but his shot from outside the box was saved by Peter Brezovan in the Southport goal.
Smith then tried a chance of his own as he attempted an audacious shot from distance but it was wide of the post.
Danny Schofield came close to finding the back of the net from a free-kick outside the area, after Boden was brought down in cynical fashion by Luke Foster who earned himself a place in the referee’s book.
It took until the 81st minute but eventually the deadlock was broken between the two sides but unfortunately for the Shaymen, it was the home side that got the first goal. Kay managed to turn Marc Roberts as he charged into the box to nestle his shot into the bottom left-hand corner of Glennon’s goal.
The Shaymen tried to keep the pressure on the Southport defence as they searched for an equaliser in the dying moments as Smith sent in another dangerous corner which caused confusion amongst the Sandgrounders back four but eventually George made the clearance.
Unfortunately Town’s efforts proved in vain as Southport earned all three points to keep themselves afloat in the battle to avoid relegation from the Vanarama Conference.
Southport:Brezovan, Challoner, Foster, Connor, Smith (Donnelly ’61), Beesley, Kay, George, Joyce, Rutherford (McCarthy ’68), Brodie.
Substitutes:Lloyd-Weston, McCarthy, Donnelly, Fitzpatrick, Thompson.
Yellow cards:Connor (’43), Foster (’76)
FC Halifax Town:Glennon, McManus, M.Roberts (C), Hutchison, Bolton, Schofield, Maynard, Pearson (Smith ’45), Peniket (Jackson ’59), Muldoon (Hatfield ’72), Boden.
Substitutes:Senior, Smith, Jackson, K.Roberts, Hatfield.
Yellow cards:McManus (’51)
Attendance:715 Halifax fans: 115
Man of the Match:Lois Maynard