Lincoln City fell to a 4-2 defeat at Southport in the Blue Square Bet Premier on Tuesday night at Haig Avenue.
The Imps went behind on 18 minutes when Simon Grand headed in from close range.
Grand doubled the lead seven minutes later, this time heading home after the Imps failed to deal with a free-kick.
The hosts looked to have the game wrapped up on 30 minutes when Tom Miller's weak clearance was pounced upon by Andy Owens who scored a long-range effort.
Lincoln managed to pull one back just before the break when Jamie Taylor drilled home from close range.
After the interval Taylor went close again, but this time his header was cleared off the line.
The Imps turned up the pressure, with Boyce rattling the woodwork and City boss David Holdsworth brought on Conal Platt for his first game since he broke his leg.
But they could not reduce the arrears and Southport netted again after Owens squared for Karl Ledsham.City striker Vadaine Oliver headed home a late goal to lift the Imps, but they ultimately were made to pay for their early first-half mistakes.
Lincoln team: Farman, Robson, Boyce, Miller, Gray, Thomson, Power, Nicolau, Robinson, Taylor, Oliver.
Attendance: 815 (69 visitors)