Red Rewind: Port in a storm as City triumph
The Minstermen survived a potential shock but had to fight hard against lower-ranked opponents who remained well in the contest until a couple of reckless second-half dismissals produced a sudden three-goal burst.
York had earlier taken the lead on eighteen minutes, Rodney Rowe steering in his eleventh goal of the season after strike partner Gary Bull's pass had deflected off the hand of Sandgrounders' player-manager Paul Futcher.
However, City keeper Mark Samways then really came into his own, including superbly denying Kevin Formby before the interval - and later Ged Kielty's thumping half-volley.
Defender Martin Reed also spectacularly hooked Kielty's goal-bound effort onto his own crossbar and the visitors desperately scrambled away to safety.
But Southport were to totally self-destruct when first skipper Brian Butler was sent-off in the 53rd minute for a two-footed challenge on midfielder Steve Bushell.
He was soon followed by John Deary receiving his marching orders for a horrendous lunge that left stylish winger Paul Stephenson requiring nine stitches in a gaping wound just below his left knee.
City went on to take charge after being handed that clear numerical advantage - and on 67 minutes Rowe, who was subjected to sickening racial chants from the stands throughout the game, appropriately responded with his second of the afternoon.
Two minutes later Alan Pouton charged through the home defence and though goalkeeper Billy Stewart parried his original shot, team-mate Bolland only succeeded in turning the loose ball into his own net.
And for good measure Pouton suitably demonstrated his impressive technique to add a fourth goal with fourteen minutes remaining.
Southport: Stewart, Farley, Ryan, Deary, Bolland, Futcher, Butler, Thompson (Mitten 80), Whittaker (Jones 54), Kielty, Formby
subs (unused): Moran, Bagnall
York City: Samways, Murty, Hall (Atkinson 80), Bushell, Reed, Barras, Pouton, Tinkler, Bull, Rowe (Cresswell 76), Stephenson (Himsworth 64)
subs (unused): Jordan, Warrrington
Goals: Rowe 2 (18, 67), Bolland OG (69), Pouton (76)
Ref: B. Coddington (Sheffield)
Link: Red Rewind - Clayton keeps his nerve
Link: Red Rewind - Hat-trick debutant boosts York