They arrived at the Merseyrail Community Stadium looking to bounce back from their opening day defeat, but in the end it turned out to be a frustrating evening for Southport.
The Sandgrounders conceded three times in the second half to lose against Altrincham as a squad with many new summer additions continues to try to find its feet.
Having conceded shortly after half-time before levelling through Jordan Richards’ excellent 25-yard free-kick, the biggest regret for the home team was probably that they failed to capitalise on the pressure that followed their equaliser and an apparent position of strength.
Chances came for Jason Gilchrist and Ryan Astles during a good ten-minute period, but just when it looked like Southport were forcing the issue, they conceded again to John Johnston and were unable to recover.
Apart from the pressure after their goal, the Sandgrounders will be disappointed that they were unable to give a good crowd of 1,268 something to cheer. Their team included four changes to the team defeated at AFC Telford United on Saturday but again they struggled to settle into the game.
With a squad featuring many new additions, it will naturally take time for them to develop and they will hope that results can quickly improve.
Altrincham were the brighter team in the first half, Connor Hampson dragging a shot across the face of the before the talented Johnston, with a glimpse of what was to come from him, hit a bouncing ball viciously from the right which flashed narrowly wide of the Southport goal.
In Jordan Hulme, Altrincham possess another gifted attacker and the Sandgroudners were grateful to goalkeeper Dan Hanford for a splendid save to turn over his powerful shot after cutting in from the opposite side.
The first sight of goal for Southport came from David Lynch’s first-time effort after a Mike Phenix cross. Dion Charles also displayed a good show of footwork as he ventured in from his wide position but a low shot was held by goalkeeper Tony Thompson.
Five minutes after the re-start, Hanford produced another fine stop, displaying his reflexes to deny Brandon Daniels. This time, however, the ball broke loose and the quickest to react was Liam Goulding, who stabbed home a shot to put Altrincham in front.
Southport’s response was good and there was quality to the equaliser from Richards seven minutes later, bending a free-kick into the left side of the goal and past the reach of goalkeeper Thompson.
It was the cue for the Sandgrounders to push forward, as an effort from Gilchrist was scrambled off the goal-line and Astles drew a save from goalkeeper Thompson after meeting Nathan Lowe’s free-kick with a firm header.
Yet it was Altrincham who would seize the initiative, Johnston restoring their advantage with a brilliant strike from outside the area before Hulme added a third with a shot that squirmed over the line.
Southport (4-1-4-1): Hanford, Richards, Langley, Astles, Mueller, Morgan, Phenix (Sampson 63), Lowe, Lynch, Charles, Gilchrist.
Subs not used: Green, Priestley, Corbett, Ocborne.
Goal: Richards 57
Altrincham (4-4-1-1): Thompson, White, Goulding, Jones, Hampson, Johnston, Williams, Moult, Daniels (Hancock 63), Harrop (Richman 63), Hulme (Peers 83).
Subs not used: Harrison, Wynne.
Goals: Goulding 50, Johnston 70, Hulme 76
Referee: Steve Copeland
Report by Alan Jones