Southport twice battled back from behind to deny Lincoln a win on their return to non-league football.
The visitors took the lead through Sam Smith's glancing header from Ali Fuseini's accurate cross.
John Paul Kissock equalised for the Sandgrounders with a fantastically struck free-kick from long range.
The Imps edged back in front after the interval from Kyle Perry's header from Simon Russell's centre before Kissock played Shaun Whalley in to fire home.
After a scrappy start the Imps, who were playing their first non-league match since 1988, went in front after a well-worked corner routine ended with Fuseini crossing for Smith to deftly head home.
Kissock levelled for the hosts with a wonderfully taken free-kick from over 30 yards out, after he was brought down by Josh Gowling.
The hosts began to dominate but were stunned when Lincoln went back in front after Russell checked inside and sent over a deep ball that Perry headed home at the back post.
The lead was short-lived though as the hosts fought back through Whalley's fine finish after a neat through ball from the influential Kissock.
Southport: McMillan, Smith, Akrigg, Grand, Owens (Lever 67), Whalley, Lee, Ledsham, Brown (Daly 64), Gray (Benjamin 78), Kissock.Subs Not Used: Davis, Nemes.
Goals: Kissock 41, Whalley 51.
Lincoln City: Anyon, Watts, Hone, Gowling, Nutter, McCallum (Barraclough 72), Fuseini, Power, Russell, Perry (Taylor 82), Smith (O'Keefe 85).Subs Not Used: Sinclair, Nicolau.
Booked: Power, Gowling, Smith.
Goals: Smith 29, Perry 50.
Ref: Richard Clark (Northumberland).