Luke Waterfall, Harry Anderson and Terry Hawkridge came in for Jamie McCombe, Jack Muldoon and Alan Power as the Imps welcomed Southport to a wind-swept Sincil Bank Stadium for their third home Vanarama National League game of the season.
Waterfall was the City skipper and once he, his counterpart Gary Jones and the match officials led by referee Antony Coggins did the honours with regards to the toss, City got the game underway attacking the Bridge McFarland Stand.
An early second minute Southport corner taken by ex-Imp James Caton was headed away by Waterfall whilst at the other end shortly afterwards a Nathan Arnold flag-kick caught in the wind and sailed straight out for a goal-kick.
In the sixth minute a good cross from the overlapping Sam Habergham was cleared behind for another City corner; Arnold floated this one in before the ball was hurriedly hacked away by the Southport defence.
An end-to-end opening continued with Alex Woodyard clearing a Caton centre out for a Southport corner and after the Imps cleared, a quick counter-attack saw the corner count increase further but the goal tally remained nil.
Despite the plethora of corners, it was a City free-kick that led to the game's opening goal; Hawkridge was the provider with his set-piece from the right being met by JONNY MARGETTS who got in front of visiting keeper Ty Belford to head the Imps in front.
City pushed for a quick second with Anderson and Arnold linking up well before the former dragged a low effort wide of the target. Anderson then had a shot blocked before a shot on the turn from Marriott went wide of Belford's left hand upright.
After a rare Southport attack saw Andrai Jones drill wide following a slip by Hawkridge, City pressed forward again and on the half-hour mark doubled their advantage. Some neat build-up play ended with Marriott flicking a ball over the top for MARGETTS who rounded Belford before slotting home his second of the game.
The Imps were inches away from making it 3-0 less than two minutes later with Arnold being denied superbly by Belford's outstretched boot before the onrushing Anderson fired into the side netting from a narrow angle.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors in the 35th minute when ex-Imp Ashley Grimes kicked out at Alex Woodyard. With referee Coggins on the spot, he was quick to brandish a straight red card to the former City man.
Play calmed down a bit as the half-time break approached but midway through two added minutes, Anderson cut in from the right and found MARGETTS who turned and fired superbly into the top corner to complete a first half hat-trick.
HT: IMPS 3 SOUTHPORT 0
Jack Muldoon replaced Nathan Arnold prior to the start of the second half and the first half-chance following the restart saw Muldoon set up Margetts who shot straight at Belford.
Marriott then had an effort charged down before the visitors made a change with former City man Louis Almond coming on for Jamie Allen. Almond was quickly in the action, getting in Southport's first shot on target but his 25-yard free-kick was easily held by Paul Farman.
Anderson tested Belford on two occasions from 20 yards out and as the hour mark approached, Margetts was brought down clumsily by Belford who saw yellow after referee Coggins pointed to the penalty spot. Hawkridge, however, saw his spot kick superbly tipped away by Belford low to his right.
Belford denied City again; this time keeping out a Marriott drive with his legs following good work by Margetts before James Gray came on for James Caton for the visitors. Alan Power and Jamie McCombe replaced Adam Marriott and Sean Raggett at the same time, once Fourth Official Abbas Khan sussed out how to work the digital board.
With 20 minutes on the clock good strength from Muldoon saw him wriggle clear of his marker but his shot was blocked for a corner. Neat build-up play from City then ended with Hawkridge forcing Belford into a save high to his left.
Southport's third and final switch came in the 78th minute with Joe Kearns coming on for Jonathon Royle and a minute later Anderson was upended in the box for a second spot kick of the game for City. Up stepped JONNY MARGETTS to fire home his fourth of the afternoon.
A tug on Almond's shirt earned Woodyard a yellow card and as the clock ticked on Belford flew full length to palm away a net-bound Hawkridge drive. The last action of the game came midway through four additional minutes when the visitors cleared a Hawkridge corner, although there was still time for Southport left-back Neil Ashton to see yellow for a trip on Anderson.
FT: IMPS 4 SOUTHPORT 0
1 Paul FARMAN
3 Sam HABERGHAM
5 Luke WATERFALL
10 Adam MARRIOTT
11 Terry HAWKRIDGE
12 Harry ANDERSON
13 Jonny MARGETTS
18 Lee BEEVERS
25 Sean RAGGETT
28 Nathan ARNOLD
30 Alex WOODYARD
7 Jack MULDOON (for ARNOLD h/t)
8 Alan POWER (for MARRIOTT 63)
16 Alex SIMMONS
27 Jamie McCOMBE (for RAGGETT 64)
23 Jimmy WALKER
GOALS: MARGETTS (16, 30, 45+1, 80 pen)
BOOKING: WOODYARD (82)
1 Ty BELFORD
2 Ross WHITE
3 Neil ASHTON
5 Josh THOMPSON
6 Keil O’BRIEN
7 Jamie ALLEN
8 Ashley GRIMES
12 Andrai JONES
14 Jonathon ROYLE
16 James CATON
18 Gary JONES
9 James GRAY (for CATON 62)
10 Louis ALMOND (for ALLEN 51)
19 Andy BISHOP
21 Joe KEARNS (for ROYLE 78)
13 Ryan CRUMP
BOOKINGS: BELFORD (58), ASHTON (90+4)
SENDING OFF: GRIMES (35)
REFEREE: Antony Coggins
ASSISTANTS: Simon Wales & Adam Burgess
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Abbas Khan
ATTENDANCE: 2,440 (69 visiting supporters)