Southend United suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Scunthorpe United as they slipped to their fourth defeat in a row.
Chris Iwelumo’s second half header gave the visiting team all three points as Southend suffered a frustrating evening against stubborn opposition.
Blues started brightly with Michael Timlin flashing a dangerous ball across the Scunthorpe box which unfortunately evaded the Southend attack.
Scunthorpe found their feet in the rain soaked Sky Bet League Two affair and nearly took the lead through Sam Winnall in the 15th minute.
Iwelumo played a defence splitting pass which found Winnall with just Daniel Bentley to beat until a last minute intervention from Mark Phillips denied the striker.
Southend fought back with Kevan Hurst curling an excellent cross to Ryan Leonard at the back post who headed the ball into the surface giving Sam Slocombe an easy take.
Timlin tried his luck from distance with a powerful left footed drive in the 31st minute which had Slocombe sprawling across his goal as it flew wide with Southend looking to break down a resolute Scunthorpe defence
On the stroke of half time the home side came close again to taking the lead after Ryan Leonard’s deft flick from Ben Coker’s low front post corner went inches past the foot of the post.
Blues had the first chance after the restart after Hurst created space for himself before seeing his left footed effort rise over the bar from the edge of the area.
Scunthorpe made the breakthrough in the 63rd minute after being on the back foot for most of the game through Iwelumo.
Coker’s attempted clearance from Etienne Esajas’ cross fell right in the path of Iwelumo who simply nodded the ball home from six yards out.
Phil Brown used all three substitutes in a matter of minutes bringing on Barry Corr, Anthony Straker and Craig Reid for Cauley Woodrow, Michael Timlin and Ben Coker as Brown reshaped the formation.
Scunthorpe continued to be stubborn in defence as they looked to hold onto their slender and they nearly doubled it through Sean McAllister’s speculative effort which Bentley had to parry away for a corner.
With time running out Blues started to press more with Hurst stinging the gloves of Slocombe with a rasping drive from 20 yards out which the keeper could only parry over for a corner.
Southend United were unable to find an equaliser on a frustrating Friday night at Roots Hall Stadium with Scunthorpe making the journey back with an extra three points to their season tally.
Southend United – Bentley, Coker (Reid 74), Phillips, Thompson, Prosser, Atkinson, Timlin (Straker 68), Leonard, Hurst, Eastwood, Woodrow (Corr 68) (Subs) Smith, Reid, Corr, Straker, Clifford, Payne, Auger
Scunthorpe United – Slocombe, Dawson, McAllister, Mirfin, Canavan, Sparrow, Iwelumo, Esajas (Byrne 82), Hawkridge (Waterfall 90), Nolan, Winnall (Burton 71) (Subs) Severn, Burton, Waterfall, Howe, Byrne, Hornsey, Spencer