City boss Chris Moyses named an unchanged starting line-up for the third successive game as the Imps welcomed Southport to a soggy Sincil Bank Stadium. There were changes on the bench, however, with Conner Robinson and new loan signing Courtney Wildin joining Robbie McDaid, George Maris and goalkeeper Aidan Grant.
It was a grey, drizzly day as referee Nigel Lugg led the two teams out of the tunnel and once the two captains flipped the coin, play got underway with Southport kicking off attacking the Stacey West Stand.
Both teams took their time to settle into proceedings with the opening five minutes spent in the middle third. City's first foray forward saw a James Caton cross towards Matt Rhead intercepted by Southport keeper Max Crocombe before Rhead was inches away from connecting with a Jack Muldoon chipped centre.
In the 14th minute Caton tested Crocombe with a low shot from the left side of box and four minutes later a peach of a cross from Bradley Wood found Muldoon who saw his header fly a foot wide.
Shortly afterwards a Caton cross hit the head of ex-Imp Luke Foster who saw the ball hit the bar before going out for a corner. This was quickly-taken back to Greg Tempest but his cross into the danger area was hacked clear by the Southport defence.
As the half-hour mark approached more good work from Caton saw him cut inside before firing against Foster and out for a corner and after Muldoon won another flag-kick shortly afterwards, this was dropped by Crocombe and there to fire home through a crowd of players was JAMES CATON to edge the Imps in front.
In the 37th minute a sweeping City attack ended with the overlapping Wood winning a corner on the right but Tempest's delivery came to an abrupt halt after Mr Lugg spotted a foul by Wood on Foster.
More excellent stuff from City down the right five minutes before the break ended with Hawkridge winning another corner and before this was taken by Tempest and claimed by Crocombe, Muldoon was cautioned following an off-the-ball incident in the six-yard box.
As one added minute was indicated a rare Southport attack ended with Power blocking a Louis Almond drive out for a corner which Jamie McCombe headed clear.
HT: IMPS 1 SOUTHPORT 0
Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second period with City, a goal up, restarting proceedings.
The Imps were the first to press following the restart with a deflected Caton snap-shot going just over the bar for a corner and after this was half-cleared, Foster was forced to head another ball into the box out for another flag-kick which Crocombe claimed at the second attempt.
A Caton cross was headed just wide by Rhead and Wood tested Crocombe with low, skidding drive from 25 yards as the Imps pressed forward again in search of a second.
The pressure paid off in the 58th minute when the Imps bagged that second; Muldoon and CATON exchanging passes before the latter neatly slotted home his second of the afternoon.
Southport's response saw them bring on Andy Bishop and Andy Wright for Paul Rutherford and Luke Foster; these changes coming after brave goalkeeping from Paul Farman saw him sprint off his line and deny Adam Blakeman.
Southport's Almond and City's Rhead were both booked for persistent infringement in the 64th minute and four minutes later ex-Imp Almond reduced the arrears when a rare attack from the visitors saw him produce a fine finish from the edge of the box.
City's response sees them win three corners with referee Lugg speaking to Muldoon and Blakeman following another off-the-ball incident prior to the third being taken. When it was Rhead headed a Hawkridge cross wide.
Robbie McDaid replaced Muldoon in the 74th minute and Courtney Wildin replaces Alan Power for his debut five minutes later; this change seeing Wood move into midfield and Beevers across to right-back.
Wood appeared to win the ball in tackle on Phenix a couple of minutes later but referee Lugg decided otherwise and booked the City man for a foul, much to the annoyance of the Imps' fans in the Co-op Stand.
The Imps didn't let their frustrations get the better of them though and in the 89th minute great work from Wood and Hawkridge saw them open up the Southport defence with ROBBIE McDAID on hand to drill home his first for the Imps with a clinical finish past Crocombe.
In the second of five added minutes a clash of heads saw Rhead and Thompson go to ground and in need of treatment and with the City man coming off worse, he headed to the dressing rooms and was replaced by Conner Robinson.
The last action of the game saw Caton rattle the post with a right-footed drive but he was flagged offside and a hat-trick goal wouldn't have counted.
FT: IMPS 3 SOUTHPORT 1
14 Conner ROBINSON (for RHEAD 90+4)
19 Robbie McDAID (for MULDOON 74)
24 Courtney WILDIN (for POWER 79)
29 George MARIS
13 Aidan GRANT
GOAL: CATON (31, 58), McDAID (89)
BOOKINGS: MULDOON (41), RHEAD (64), WOOD (81)