Southport 0-2 Braintree Town
Sean Marks scored a first-half brace to help Braintree climb to within a point of fellow strugglers Southport.
Marks got his first from close-range as he slotted home Dan Holman's cross.
He added his second just four minutes later when he swept the ball into the bottom corner following good work on the right from Luke Daley.
Southport failed to muster many chances and the closest they came to a goal was through Shaun Whalley but his effort was cleared by Braintree's Ryan Peters.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Southport manager Liam Watson told BBC Radio Merseyside:
"You can't give teams two-goal starts.
"We haven't troubled them in the 90 minutes. We've had a fair chunk of the second half but they've just sat deep and been comfortable.
"Our passing was all over the place. It was just a really, really bad performance and you can't take any positives from it at all."
Braintree Town manager Alan Devonshire told BBC Essex:
"It was fully deserved, I thought it was a great performance from all the boys.
"It isn't a coincidence that when we've had a two-week break we've had our two worst performances, one at Lincoln and one against Havant. I knew we would step up again.
"It was just a fantastic performance, we could have maybe won the game a little bit easier.
"We've been in a false position and we've got games in hand so we're looking to push on."