Everton Under 23s' Premier League Cup hopes suffered a blow after the Toffees conceded either side of skipper Morgan Feeney's 55th-minute goal to go down to a 2-1 defeat by Leicester City.
The Blues got off to the worst possible start at Southport when striker Fraser Hornby inadvertently diverted a corner into his own net.
John Ebbrell's side steadily worked their way back into the contest and were playing the more progressive football of the two teams when Feeney headed home Matty Foulds' free-kick to equalise.
The Foxes, however, summoned an immediate response, with express striker Josh Eppiah thrashing high into the net from inside the box to put his team back in front.
Everton U23: Renshaw, Markelo (70' Evans), Foulds, Walsh, Feeney, Gibson, Bowler (46' Sambou), Adeniran (46' Donkor), Hornby, Broadhead, Charsley.
Subs not Used: Hilton, Lavery.