When the Southport players made their way off the pitch at half-time, few home supporters could have envisaged how this match would finish.
Trailing at the break, the Port staged a clinical comeback embellished with classy finishes to extend a remarkable run of form which has filled the fans with a growing sense of anticipation.
Brad Bauress and Dion Charles both scored twice while captain David Morgan also found the target during a stylish, swashbuckling second half as they put Leamington to the sword to register a fifth win in seven Vanarama National League North games.
Overall, it is 12 without defeat in league matches for Liam Watson’s team, scoring 27 goals in the process, and the standard of the finishes here emphasised the quality now being displayed by this group of players.
Southport had started the game well enough, hitting the woodwork during the early stages, but by the time a shot from Jack Edwards was deemed to have crossed the Port goal-line ten minutes before the interval, their performance had fallen flat, prompting Watson to make changes.
Call it Devarn intervention. On as a half-time substitute, Devarn Green played a part in three Southport goals and caused all manner of problems for the visiting defence, as the Port scored five goals in one half of a league game for the first time since 2011.
That Southport were able to raise their level of performance after the break is testament to the character of the players and their current momentum. It has been a relentless period for Watson’s team – this was their 19th game in all competitions in the ten weeks since the start of November – and their will to win has only strengthened.
In that time, no players has shone more than Morgan, the captain who has quickly become the driving force of this team, and his goal here took his tally to four in eight games from the centre of midfield.
The home team could have been in front on 16 minutes when Bauress smashed a shot against the post after a cross from Charles had just escaped Jack Sampson in the centre of the Leamington area.
But having lost their early impetus, Southport went into the break in arrears, as Reece Flannigan’s deep free-kick was touched in at the far post by Edwards.
The introduction of Green at the interval reaped immediate dividends as, three minutes after the re-start, his run and cross set up Bauress, who turned home the rebound after an initial shot was saved by goalkeeper Tony Breeden.
Green continued to provide the home team with their most effective outlet, supplying a cross on 66 minutes which was touched by Bauress into the path of Morgan and he scored with a composed finish.
Bauress added Southport’s third, receiving another pass from Green before taking a touch to set himself and finding the bottom left-hand corner.
Charles got onto the scoresheet after Morgan played a slide-rule pass into the path of Jordan Richards, and Charles struck again in stoppage time having exchanged passes with Jack Sampson.
It was a sensational second half to extend what is quickly becoming a splendid run of form.
Southport (4-2-3-1) Hanford, Winnard (Richards 38), Parry, Edwards, Ogle, Morgan, Wood, Charles, Gilchrist (Green 46), Bauress (Homson-Smith 85), Sampson.
Subs not used: Tibbetts, Davies.
Leamington (4-4-1-1): Breeden, Mace, Edwards, Lane, Bowen (Taylor 84), Dunbar (Obeng 80), Gittings, Clarke (English 80), Murphy, Flannigan, Bishop.
Subs not used: James, Newey.
Referee: Steven Copeland
Report by Alan Jones