Red Rewind: City in late, late show
An evening of deep frustration for York City eventually finished in a mixture of celebration and relief after the home side demonstrated their strength on the bench with a third straight victory at Bootham Crescent.
The visitors' regular time-delaying tactics annoyed the home fans throughout as York missed a number of chances during the opening half before the contest badly degenerated after the break.
But a double-change from manager Gary Mills with just ten minutes remaining sparked a late rally that witnessed substitute Leon Constantine expertly converting an 88th minute penalty after on loan Robbie Weir's shot had been ruled as handled inside the area.
And moments later another replacement, this time Jamal Fyfield, broke down the left and crossed for fellow substitute David McDermott to turn in his first goal for the club at the near post.
Recalled winger Peter Till earlier went closest for the hosts on two separate occasions during the first-half against negative opposition who did their level best to kill the spectacle at every opportunity.
Midfielder Jonathan Smith was also back in the side and soon had an effort deflected behind for a fifth-minute corner that was somehow scrambled clear as Till stabbed Danny Racchi's delivery towards an inviting goal.
Racchi then struck a 30-yard free-kick straight at goalkeeper Steve Dickinson before York again went desperately close when Till beat two opponents and fired against the crossbar from the edge of the area, with Racchi in turn sending the rebound wide.
Southport didn't really fashion anything until Alan Moogan drove a 34th minute free-kick through the defensive wall and straight at goalkeeper Michael Ingham.
The Minstermen should really have gone ahead six minutes before the interval after a defensive slip allowed Michael Rankine to break clear. But the in-form striker carelessly overran the ball and goalkeeper Dickinson blocked before also denying the follow-up from Ashley Chambers, who then worked possession down the right for Jonathan Smith to drill behind.
York midfielder Racchi twice shot wide after the restart as the home side remained frustrated. And that saw their visitors almost breaking the deadlock when Kevin Lee had a 74th minute header cleared off the line from a Liam Blakeman corner after home defender Daniel Parslow had required extended treatment.
With ten minutes remaining York boss Mills introduced Constantine and Fyfield from the bench at the expense of Rankine and Till. And it was Constantine who calmly sent Dickinson the wrong way from the penalty spot after Weir's 87th minute shot was blocked by an adjudged handball inside the area.
As the overdue drama continued, Fyfield surged down the left just a couple of minutes later and provided the cross for McDermott to add a second at the near post and finally wrap-up the points.
The action still wasn't finished, however, as skipper Chris Smith soon cleared off the line from Southport substitute Danny Lloyd-McGoldrick, while back came York with the lively McDermott having a speculative 30-yard shot saved and Chambers then seeing his effort deflected over the crossbar.
York City: Ingham, Parslow, McGurk, C. Smith, Meredith, Weir, J. Smith (McDermott 59), Racchi, Chambers, Rankine (Constantine 80), Till (Fyfield 80)
subs (unused): Sangare, Barrett
Goals: Constantine (pen 88), McDermott (90)
Southport: Dickinson, Lee, Lever (Flynn 7), Davis, Marsh-Evans, Moogan, Barrett, Blakeman (Lloyd-McGoldrick 89), Simm, Daly, Gray
subs (unused): McMillan, Powell, Morley
Ref: M. Heywood
Att: 2,104 (66 Southport)