Match ends, Derby County 1, Southport 0.
A Chris Martin injury-time penalty saved Derby County any embarrassment as they overcame Conference side Southport in the FA Cup third round.
Southport were close to earning a replay against Championship team Derby until Luke Foster felled Johnny Russell in the 92nd minute at the iPro Stadium.
Striker Martin converted from the spot, making up for several Derby misses.
Craig Bryson hit the post for the dominant home side, while Paul Coutts and Ryan Shotton also went close.
But Southport, in the third round for the first time since 1999, had their chances to take a shock lead, with Richard Brodie and Foster both heading wide after the break from in front of goal.
Even with nine changes to the Derby team which outclassed Leeds United in the Championship, Steve McClaren's men were overwhelmingly the dominant side in terms of possession and territory.
The visitors remained resilient until they crumbled in the closing minutes, but also enjoyed a bit of fortune as Derby wasted a number of opportunities.
Bryson's low strike clipped the the post, Derby team-mate Leon Best - making a rare start - was wasteful with the subsequent ricochet, while Coutts' powerful strike from distance was impressively saved by Raya Martin.
Shotton was another County player guilty of profligacy as Southport, 20th in the Conference, went into the break level against a team 89 places above them them in the league pyramid.
With his team still searching for a breakthrough, McClaren made a triple substitution mid-way through the second half, introducing star players Martin, Liverpool loanee Jordon Ibe and Russell and eventually the second-half changes worked.
Russell's incisive run into the Southport penalty box forced Foster into a rash challenge, leaving Martin to score the winner and ensure Derby avoided any kind of FA Cup upset.
Derby boss Steve McClaren: "They came here and frustrated us, did their job, defended heroically, played when they could and their keeper was magnificent. Gary and his staff can be very proud of their performance, I thought it was excellent.
"We are just thankful we are not the headline on Sunday morning, which we were very close to being. In the end it was sheer relief that we got the result. I couldn't see us scoring from open play and I thought it was going to take something like a penalty to win this game.
"I'm going to enjoy a nice glass of Amarone with Gary because he presented it to me before the game, trying to soften me up! From half-time on I was looking forward to that glass of wine - but Gary can be very proud of his players."
Southport manager Gary Brabin: "I've told them I'm proud of them and that they've raised the bar and made a lot of friends. It's a cruel way to lose the game but there was never any doubt in our minds that it was a penalty.
"I'm gutted to see the lads so down, but I genuinely didn't think we were going to win the FA Cup. We just wanted to come here and show everyone what this team is capable of and leave with pride, which is certainly the case.
"I think they were excellent and we've frustrated a side who I think will be in the Premier League next season."
- 32ShottonSubstituted forRussellat 63'minutes
- 30BestSubstituted forMartinat 63'minutes
- 10WardSubstituted forIbeat 62'minutes
- 25AustinSubstituted forBakayokoat 82'minutes
- 10BrodieSubstituted forHattersleyat 70'minutes
- Graham Scott
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Derby County 1, Southport 0.
Goal! Derby County 1, Southport 0. Chris Martin (Derby County) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.
Penalty Derby County. Johnny Russell draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by Luke Foster (Southport) after a foul in the penalty area.
Amadou Bakayoko (Southport) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Simon Dawkins (Derby County).
Attempt missed. Craig Bryson (Derby County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.
Paul Coutts (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Danny Hattersley (Southport).
Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Paul Smith.
Attempt saved. Omar Mascarell (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Substitution, Southport. Amadou Bakayoko replaces Mitchell Austin.
Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Luke Foster.
Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Dom Collins.
Attempt missed. Mitchell Austin (Southport) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Attempt saved. Omar Mascarell (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Substitution, Southport. Danny Hattersley replaces Richard Brodie.
Attempt saved. Richard Keogh (Derby County) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Paul Rutherford.