YORK City twice fought back from a goal down to earn a 3-2 win at Southport and go seventh in National League North after a three-week lay-off.

Inspired by a second-half brace of free kicks from Sean Newton, the Minstermen overturned a 1-0 half-time deficit.

After Niall Watson restored Port's lead following Newton's first free kick, the captain netted from a near carbon-copy effort to get York back level.

As ever, Harry Bunn had been a potent force in the second period and he smashed in from a great piece of play from a quick free kick.

The introduction of Jack Redshaw at the break seemed to play a part in City's recovery, the nippy attacker sharp on the ball.

Steve Watson made three changes to his starting line-up from the goalless draw against Brackley. Akil Wright and Matty Brown returned to the fold while Owen Gamble was making his first league start for the Minstermen.

Attacker Jack Redshaw was among the substitutes, featuring in the squad for the first time this season. Midfielder Michael Woods and defender Kieran Kennedy dropped to the bench while the injured Josh King missed out entirely.

There were two changes to Southport’s starting 11 following their 1-1 National League North draw against AFC Telford United, with former Blackburn Rovers man Connor Woods joining the substitutes, while Dylan Vassallo was not included at all.

In their place came Jack Bainbridge and Jordan Archer, the latter re-joining Port from Boston United on Monday evening. He scored four goals in 13 league games on loan at Southport in 2018/19.

Possibly the closest chance of the opening eight minutes came from Scott Barrow as he put an effort just wide from outside the area.

From six yards out, Wright had a good chance to get his name on the scoresheet after 17 minutes, but he headed the right-wing cross straight at Dan Hanford, who was well positioned to make the reflex stop.

With 27 minutes gone, Archer made the breakthrough. A long throw from Jack Doyle found the striker inside the area and he slammed it high into Pete Jameson’s net from six yards out.

With the half-time break approaching, Barrow pulled the trigger again from distance, his left-footed effort going low and just off target again.

Barrow got a late cross into the area to close the first half, with striker Jake Cassidy unable to reach the ball with his head.

And the left-back opened the second half with a right-footed curling effort over the bar. On at the break for Cassidy, Redshaw’s first involvement was to pluck Jameson’s long ball forward out of the air and lay it off.

York were enjoying the lion’s share of the play as the second period opened and Robbie Tinkler pulled a right-footed shot wide from 35 yards out.

Quick thinking from Barrow at a left-sided free kick gave Olly Dyson a chance on goal from distance. It was deflected for a quickly-take corner, from which Redshaw skipped into the box before going down under pressure from behind. There were few objections as penalty appeals were waved away.

Newton got the goal City’s flying second-half start deserved. From a free kick 30 yards out, his left-footed effort took a deflection off the wall and nestled in Hanford’s bottom-left corner.

After the goal, though, York seemed to back off a little and Southport got their foot on the ball a bit more. Archer put an innocuous effort wide from outside the area while Jameson – albeit comfortably – had to get behind an driven shot from the angle.

But after 64 minutes, Southport were back in front. The Sandgrounders were able to play their way to the top of the City area, the ball broke for Niall Watson and he curled to Jameson’s top right.

A mere three minutes later, York were back level. Wright was brought down inside 30 yards away from goal and Newton again stepped up. This time there was no other contact after the ball left the skipper’s boot and his effort flew in to Hanford’s right.

With just over a quarter of an hour remaining, Tinkler again tried his luck from distance after Harry Bunn had got across the edge of the Southport area. Tinkler’s low shot was parried by Hanford into the path of Redshaw, who was quickly onto it – but Hanford saved fantastically from very close in. Redshaw was flagged offside anyway.

Bunn got York in front for the first time on the night. Connor Woods was booked for a foul on his namesake Michael, on for Paddy McLaughlin. The free kick was taken quickly and Gamble was sent away down the right. He pulled back and Bunn fired right-footed across Hanford into the keeper’s right-hand side.

And Bunn almost gave Redshaw a chance to get on the scoresheet with four minutes remaining. City broke well from a Southport attack, with Bunn able to drive onto the two defenders. His man, backing off, slipped, opening up yet more space for Bunn, who played across to Redshaw in support but the returning striker’s pull-back was cut out by the last man.

Southport: Hanford, Ali (Benjamin 83), Oliver, Anson, Challoner, Doyle, Bainbridge, Morgan, Carver, Archer, Watson. Subs not used: McMillan, Winnard, , Newell, Woods.

Goals: Archer (26), Watson (64)

Yellow cards: Woods

York: Jameson, Barrow, Newton, Tinkler, Wright, Cassidy (Redshaw HT), Dyson (Kennedy 83), Bunn, Gamble, McLaughlin (Woods 68), Brown. Subs not used: Potts, Flatters.

Goals: Newton (54, 67), Bunn (77)

Star man: Harry Bunn. Tenacious and driving, he put his first City league goal away with confidence.