South Shields were eliminated from the Isuzu FA Trophy at the first hurdle after a 4-0 defeat at Southport.
The Mariners endured a difficult afternoon on Merseyside and were unable to recover from a two-goal salvo inside six minutes towards the end of the first half from the hosts.
Southport secured their place in round three with two further goals in the second period as Shields were unable to build on their 5-2 midweek win at Spennymoor Town.
CJ Clarke, Luke James and Jordy Mongoy were brought into the starting line-up and the Mariners started on the front foot.
There was an opening for Mongoy inside 40 seconds after he was found down the right of the area by John Lufudu, but his strike rattled against the legs of home goalkeeper Chris Renshaw.
Lufudu also narrowly failed to pick out James and Mongoy with a cross before Mongoy got in behind again, latching onto a Tom Broadbent pass and rounding Renshaw before losing his footing.
Southport grew in stature as the first half progressed and created their first chance when the skiful Mikey O’Neill danced his way through and found Jack Bainbridge, whose effort across goal was saved by the foot of Myles Boney.
The Sandgrounders took the lead on 33 minutes after some terrific work from Niall Watson, who got in down the left and slid a ball across for O’Neill to dispatch from close range.
It was two goals in six minutes for the hosts when David Morgan’s free-kick from deep found the head of captain Adam Anson, whose looping header dropped into the net.
Both teams went close to adding a third goal of the game before the break, but strikes from Clarke and O’Neill narrowly cleared the crossbar.
Southport took what appeared an unassailable lead four minutes into the second half as O’Neill weaved his way through and laid it off to Watson, who kept his composure to lift the ball into the roof of the net.
Robert Briggs was narrowly off target from distance and James volleyed over as Shields searched for a route back into the tie.
Tom Broadbent had a header blocked and Renshaw scrambled to keep out an attempted clearance from Declan Evans but there was no way back for Shields, who made a triple substitution on the hour, including the introduction of teenager Matty Telfer for his senior debut.
Southport were awarded a penalty towards the end and Evans converted it to complete a disappointing afternoon for the Mariners.
Shields will aim to bounce back when they return to Vanarama National League North action at home to Curzon Ashton on Tuesday.
It is part of a double-header of league games at 1st Cloud Arena, with Chester to visit South Tyneside on Saturday as Shields bid to maintain their excellent home record.
South Shields: Boney, Lufudu, Adams (c), Liddle, Broadbent, Briggs, Abbey, Clarke, Blackett (Woods 60), James (Martin 60), Mongoy (Telfer 60). Subs not used: Seymour, Smith, Heaney, McGeorge.
Image: Kev Wilson.