YORK City notched back-to-back league wins for the first time since the end of October with a comfortable 2-0 win at Southport.

Goals either side of half-time settled the National League North contest, which condemned Port to a fourth consecutive defeat.

The first - which came from a wickedly whipped Kallum Griffiths corner to the near post - was necessary to inject some vigour into a bit of a drab first-half performance.

The second, buried confidently by Jordan Burrow, was emblematic of a much-improved second half, in which York were buoyant and Port were quite the opposite.

Had one of a handful of decent home chances gone in, it might have been a different day for both sides, but as it was, the sizeable travelling contingent left content.

Steve McNulty returned to the York starting line-up after watching the New Year’s Day win over Bradford Park Avenue from the stands because of illness. He again displaced Macaulay Langstaff to the bench, where he joined the incoming Josh King.

With Dan Maguire still unavailable, City were otherwise unchanged, top scorer Jordan Burrow and Alex Kempster leading the line ahead of Kieran Green, Paddy McLaughlin and Adriano Moke.

Charles Oliver and Bradley Bauress were among the changes to the Port 11, with Jack Doyle injured in the 4-0 defeat at Chester.

Former Everton youth player George Newell was recalled from his loan at Marine and was named on the bench.

Youngster Charlie Albinson kept his place between the sticks, with Dan Hartford - the man in goal when Southport drew 1-1 at Bootham Crescent earlier in the season - among the substitutes.

The opening exchanges were fairly languid, with little to trouble either defence or keeper. Kempster got away the first shot on target early on after good work in midfield, while Pete Jameson spilled Jack Sampson’s low long-range effort.

Sampson showed a bit of fire in drilling over from range, and it seemed to warm the hosts, who stepped up a gear around the 10-minute mark. Bradley Bauress won a corner off McNulty and Raul Correia dragged an ambitious effort on the turn wide.

Sean Newton was shown the first yellow card of the game 20 minutes in. Devarn Green used his pace down the right to draw the foul. From the cleared free kick delivery, Green skewed his volley slightly wide of the diving Jameson’s left-hand post.

By the midway point of the half, it had hardly been a classic. Kempster was one of the few York players to inspire with some lively runs at the defence, but it looked as though the heavy fixture period and pitch had affected both sides.

Kieran Green was needed to make a vital block and clearance in the 26th minute, getting in the way of namesake Devarn’s shot from inside the area with Jameson beaten and the ball destined for the inside of the left-hand upright. It was again Green’s pace and skill which created the chance.

York were guilty of losing the ball too often from simple passing, epitomised by McLaughlin’s feeble low corner straight to a Port man just after the half-hour.

Yet City showed they could still turn it on and took the lead in the 35th minute. Kallum Griffiths battled well for the ball in the defensive third and played a firm pass through the centre of the field to Burrow, who controlled and laid it off for Kempster. From his pass to the edge of the area, Green won a corner with a deflected shot and Griffiths’ perfect cross to the near post was headed in by Burrow.

It probably should have been two a minute on, when Adriano Moke sent Kempster haring away from Oliver down the right and through on goal, but Albinson stood him up well and saved from the tight-angled effort.

A miscued clearance from Jameson almost gifted Southport a chance to equalise. From the top corner of the box, he struck Sampson and the rebound spun back across goal. Were Correia quicker to react, there was an open goal awaiting him.

Southport drew a good chance three minutes after the restart, Green delivering another good ball into the box. Newton did well to make himself big and block the header with his body.

But York were looking brighter after the break, and Burrow doubled their advantage inside five minutes. Newton delivered a good clearance-cum-through ball to Green, who drew the defence with a strong forward drive and laid off to Burrow. There was no mistaking whose goal it was this time as he planted a calm side-footed finish beyond Albinson.

Certainly there was more zeal about City’s play, illustrated by searching first-time forward passes and an eagerness to be quickest to the ball, or win the second ball. Devarn Green set himself racing away down the right wing and Jameson was swift off his line to get across and clear.

By contrast, Southport looked drained of conviction by the second goal, and needed a well-timed challenge from Russell Benjamin to prevent Kempster a chance at making it three. Intricate play between Griffiths and McLaughlin – the former with some nice trickery, the latter among the most improved players from the first half – set Kempster away inside the box but he was dispossessed as he went to pull the trigger.

A touch of fortune preserved Jameson’s clean sheet in the 75th minute when Mohammed got in the way of substitute Newell’s goal-bound header.

Griffiths drew a good save from Albinson with a rising long-range drive as York started to look like the side who began the season with so much confidence and attacking verve.

Macaulay Langstaff was played through in the box but could only find Albinson’s legs with his shot.

Southport: Albinson, Oliver, Ogle, Mohammed, Astles, Morgan, Benjamin, Green, Correia (Newell 60), Sampson, Bauress (Wood 79). Subs not used: Homson-Smith, Woods, Hanford.

Yellow cards: Sampson, Mohammed

York: Jameson 8, Griffiths 8, Tait 7, McNulty 8, Newton 7, Ferguson 7, McLaughlin 7, Moke 7, Green 7, Kempster 8 (Langstaff 77), Burrow 8. Subs not used: Whitley, King, Bond, Durrell.

Star man: Jordan Burrow. Like the team as a whole, picked up drastically in the second half and led superbly from the top. His second-half goal was not too difficult a chance but taken with a satisfying confidence.

Goals: Burrow 2

Yellow cards: Newton

Referee: David McNamara

Attendance: 1,144