Southport manager Liam Watson was disappointed with the performance despite progressing in the FA Trophy.
Port needed penalties to see off Darlington in their rescheduled tie after Storm Arwen forced their clash to be postponed on Saturday.
Jordan Archer headed in the opener for the Yellows but the Quakers fought back sending the game to a penalty shootout.
Despite the win, Watson wasn’t too impressed with the showing but was pleased with Marcus Carver’s impact when he was introduced.
“I wasn’t very happy at the performance, I was alright with the character and stuff like that was shown but we’ve got to be a million times better with the ball than what we were,” he told Off The Park.
“I thought there was a little bit of complacency which probably slipped in the moment we scored early which isn’t right.
“We only have to go a few weeks time, we scored early against Darlington and then finished them off in 15 minutes – this time we never. We had no intensity, we weren’t forceful at them and it was like ‘alright we’ll win’ and it wasn’t like that. They got told at half time and they got told Darlington would score and they did. Once they did, [we] made the change brought Carver on – who I was trying to give a deserved rest to – he actually got us going again.
“It just goes to show, it was only a couple of weeks ago I was telling everybody we was playing well and the results would come and they have. But in reality, if you drop your level in terms of intensity and work ethic it’ll quickly go the other way.
“I think we had enough chances to win in normal time, but Darlington had a few chances as well, it could’ve gone either way if one of them would’ve scored. Reality speaking, neither of us took our chances so it’s probably fair enough it comes down to a penalty shootout.
“I think the last 20 when Marcus [Carver] come on it revitalised us, the team, just by his endeavour that he’s got closing people down it seems to drag people with him so it’s good. Really positive. From that point of view, it was good to see but we should be relying on Marcus all the time.”
Southport welcome Hereford on Saturday as they look to hand the Bulls their first defeat in five.
But the play-off chasing side will prove a difficult test as they haven’t conceded in as many matches.
Watson added: “They’re all difficult tests, whether you get whoever is top of the league or whoever is bottom, there’s no easy game. The minute you go into a game ‘this’ll be easy’ it just doesn’t work like that so we’ve got to be at it right from the word go.
“Hereford are the one [of], if not, the biggest football club in this league. Them chasing playoffs, they should be chasing the title, the club is that big, well-funded and supported. We know how tough it’ll be.”