SAM Corne was the two-goal hero as BRAINTREE TOWN eased their lingering relegation fears with a 2-0 victory at home to Southport.

The midfielder netted either side of half-time, with goals in the 41st and 58th minutes of the National League contest.

Braintree are now 17th in the table, having leapfrogged Sutton United, who lost 2-0 at Aldershot.

They also made up ground on the likes of Chester and Guiseley, the two teams now directly above them, who both dropped points on Saturday.

Euan Murray almost opened the scoring in spectacular fashion for Southport, but his overhead kick hit a post after beating goalkeeper Ben McNamara.

However, it was the hosts who got the breakthrough when Corne found the back of the net through a crowd of bodies in the Southport area.

He then added a second just before the hour mark, blasting past goalkeeper Craig King after being put through by Michael Cheek.

It was the first time Braintree have scored more than one goal at home in the league since the Boxing Day visit of Dagenham and Redbridge.

And it was enough to condemn Southport - who have shipped 79 goals, the most in the league - to a fourth straight defeat, leaving them two points behind fellow strugglers North Ferriby and York City.

Braintree's win means they completed the double over Southport, following their amazing 5-4 victory in the North-West on November 26.

On that occasion the Iron recovered from 3-1 down before grabbing a winner through Jack Midson.

Hakan Hayrettin's side, who had failed to win in their previous three home games, now have another important match tomorrow night, when they welcome Woking to the Ironmongery Direct Stadium.

Woking are fourth from bottom and lost 2-1 at Gateshead on Saturday.