Southport brought their pre-season schedule to a close with victory against Everton under 23s at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.
The Sandgrounders came from behind as first-half goals from Josh Thompson and Neil Ashton were added to by James Gray, giving Andy Bishop’s team their third warm-up win of the summer.
Bishop used the match to give a run-out to most of his first-team players and a number of trialists competing for the remaining places in his squad before they begin the Vanarama National League season at Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.
Everton took the lead on 14 minutes with a crisply-executed passing move. Gethin Jones played the ball inside to Ryan Ledson, who in turn released Nathan Holland to slot a measured finish past goalkeeper Ryan Crump.
The visitors had been quick into their stride, Holland having earlier been set free by Liam Walsh before Crump intervened.
Southport’s first attempt saw John Cofie release James Gray, whose angled shot was deflected wide for a corner by Morgan Feeney.
And it was from the resulting set-play that the Sandgrounders drew level, Neil Ashton’s corner reaching the far post, where Josh Thompson climbed highest to head the ball in via the underside of the crossbar.
Everton continued to pose the greater threat from open play, Crump saving from Courtney Duffus after another neatly-worked move from the visitors, before Anthony Evans placed a shot narrowly across the face of goal from an acute angle.
But Southport took the lead seconds before half-time, Ashton’s free-kick from the right wing looping over a crowded penalty ahead and past the reach of goalkeeper Louis Gray before nestling into the top corner.
As both teams made a raft of changes at the interval and during the early part of the second half, it was the Sandgrounders who played the more progressive football.
And Bishop’s team added to their lead midway through the half, as a corner from James Caton reached Connor McCarthy, whose initial effort was deflected into the path of James Gray.
Caton shot over after good work from Alfons Fosu-Mensa before cutting in from the left and in the end the Sandgrounders were comfortable winners.
Southport kick-off the new season away at Dagenham next weekend.
Southport: Crump (Belford 46), A Jones, White (Kearns 65), Thompson, Ashton (Carberry 46), Royle, G Jones (K Nolan 46), Summerskill (Mensa 76), Cofi (McCarthy 65), Gray (Daley 76), Grimes (Caton 46).
Everton u23: Gray (Griffiths 46), Jones, Robinson (McAleny 46), Walsh, Feeney (Yarney 78), Foulds, Holland (Dyson 58), Ledson, Duffus (Donohue 58), Evans (Garbutt 46), Henen (Charsley 46).
Subs not used: Garbutt, Broadhead.
Referee: Aaron Jackson