Wrexham completed a miserable festive period with a third straight loss, and the second at the hands of Southport.
Despite taking the lead through Wes York, the home side were level not long before the break through Louis Almond. In the second period and captain Luke Foster scored at corner to edge his side in front, before substitute James Gray levelled matters.
The decisive moment came from the penalty spot with six minutes of normal time remaining, as Almond grabbed his second of the afternoon and wrapped up the three points for the resurgent Sandgrounders.
Although the outcome was the same, this was at least a much better display by the Reds, as the boss certainly had looked to shake things up.
When we kicked off it settled down to a formation of three centre backs (Smith, Fyfield, Hudson), two attacking full backs (White & Newton), three in midfield (Evans, Carrington & Moke), leaving Jennings and York up front.
The early play was made by the visitors and even direct from the kick-off Wes York won a corner and the home side, as Halifax did, seemed happy to sit back and soak up the pressure.
The first clear cut chance came on 15 minutes , as Sean Newton made yards down the left, played into Wes York, he turned and laid the ball off to Connor Jennings on the edge of the box, with his low effort forcing Port keeper Max Crocombe to dive to his left to make the save.
The opening goal come on 17 minutes as York finished off from the close range, getting on the end of a low cross from Robbie Evans, but the actual play involved anumber of other Wrexham players as we cut open the home defence with a flowing move.
The Sandgrounders responded by pushing forward and won a corn on the Wrexham right, the ball was floated into space at the back post, where Andy Wright arrived late for a free header but he only played it across the goal some 15 yards out. Robbie Evans was given the chance to clear, but he lost the ball to Gary Jones, but his long range effort lacked any direction to worry Rhys Taylor.
Southport took off the injured Gary Jones on 22 minutes, replacing him with Liam Nolan.
Port had a real chance to draw level on 27 minutes, when good work by saw winger Paul Rutherford cross in for former Reds trialist Louis Almond and despite steadying himself for the shot, Taylor was able to get down to make the save.
Just two minutes at the other end, a cross in from Newton on the left saw York get in front of his marker, but his deft touch was not enough to steer the ball inside the far post with the keeper watching on.
On 40 minutes, a jittery moment saw a back pass from Jamal Fyfield, out wide left on the half way line, hit too hard and Taylor was forced to race back into his goal and somehow hook the ball off his own goal line
The home side were level on 41 minutes, as free kick was played short and Almond hit his effort low and hard, with the ball moving in the air and finding the far bottom corner of Taylor net.
The free kick was conceded by Mark Carrington coming in hard on his man.
As 43 minutes showed on the clock, there was a coming together between Jennings and Adam Blakeman, which saw both players end up on the ground, but despite much excitement in the stands, the referee gave the pair a dressing down and continued the game.
The second half started with York going on a run from his own half and holding off a couple of defenders before his shot went wide of the far post.
It was then Penix’s turn to go on a mazy run that took him passed Newton and it took a good interception from White to clear the danger as the winger’s low cross evaded two forwards I nthe Wrexham box.
On 49 minutes, Kayden Jackson was sent on for Adriano Moke and this also saw Jennings drop back into midfield.
Straight away the home side won a corner on their left and the ball was sent long, where Sandgrounders’ captain out jumped his marker and headed back across Taylor to give them the lead.
Buoyed up by their goals, the Port were certainly not shy in coming forward and Almond was unlucky to see his effort go narrowly wide, when they again stretched the Wrexham defence.
With just over 20 minutes left, a double change for Wrexham with James Gary on for Carrington, Vose on for Hudson.
The Reds immediately won a corner and as Vose crossed with his first touch, Gray repeated the trick, scoring with his first touch from the middle of the goal. Now that’s what you call an inspired substitution!
There was then a spectacular punched save from Taylor to deny Blakeman, after pressure following a Southport free kick 20 yards from goal.
The first booking finally came on 76 minutes, when the referee took Jennings’s name for talking back to him.
There was uproar two minutes later when Jackson broke into the box and seem to be pushed in the back, but the referee just waved play on, much to the disappointment of the massed ranks of Wrexham fans at that end of the pitch.
Vose was certainly livening things up for the visitors, as he marauded up and down the left flank and was unfortunate not to find Gray after one particular run, as the striker was making space for himself at the near post.
A penalty was awarded on 83 minutes though, as Fyfield obstructed Almond on the edge of the box.
Almond got up to send Taylor the wrong way from 12 yards and restore Southport’s advantage at 3-2.
There was a booking on 90 minutes for Southport’s Nike Phenix, sliding in on Fyfield as the ball was being cleared in the Wrexham box.
The last action of the game was a low effort from York that had Crocombe happy to push the ball round his left hand post.
The travelling support was given as 956, which equated to 45% of the total crowd – just need to get back up the table now!
Southport: Crocombe, Thompson, Foster, Allen, Wright, G Jones (L Nolan 22), Blakeman, Almond, A Jones, Phenix.
Subs:, Ryan, Viscosi, Bishop, Grimshaw.
Wrexham: Taylor, White, Smith, Hudson, Fyfield, Newton, Evans, Carrington, Moke (Jackson 49), York, Jennings.
Subs: Royle, O'Brien, Vose, Gray.
Referee: Tom Nield (Cumbria)
Southport: Phenix (90, foul)
Wrexham: Jennings (76, dissent)