Blues fell to a third successive league defeat as goals from Greg Docherty and Lee Angol secured Shrewsbury a 2-0 win at the Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Shrews, who went into the game looking for their first win of the season, made the perfect start to proceedings scoring after five minutes with Docherty’s well-taken strike inside the area.
Southend rallied and went close to levelling before the interval through Simon Cox but were caught with a sucker-punch second goal in first-half stoppage time through Lee Angol.
Angol had a superb chance to extend Shrewsbury’s lead in the second-half but he was denied by a reflex save by David Stockdale with Stockdale’s opposite number Joel Coleman rarely troubled.
Defeat for Blues was their fourth straight loss to Shrewsbury and the win for the home side saw them leapfrog Southend in the table following their first maximum of the campaign.
The result, as well as the performance, will raise more questions than answers for Blues boss Chris Powell who will be disappointed following more positive showings in defeats to Peterborough United and Charlton Athletic.
And following that defeat to Posh last weekend, Powell mixed things up in defence ahead of today’s trip to Shropshire, replacing Elvis Bwomono and Michael Turner with Jason Demetriou and Taylor Moore while left-back Ben Coker made his 200th appearance for the club.
The hosts came into this game off the back of a spirited performance away at Portsmouth that earned them a point last weekend and they also made two changes and The Salop were still without a win this season following the appointment of John Askey in the summer.
Blues were hoping to maintain a trend that had seen both of their last two defeats followed up with wins, but they made a nightmare start as Shrewsbury opened the scoring inside the first five minutes at the Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Alex Gilliead’s break down the left looked to have been marshalled perfectly by the returning Jason Demetriou but the Shrews winger somehow managed to prod the ball across goal to Greg Docherty who expertly chested the ball down before firing into the roof of the net.
The early goal left Southend plenty of time to come back but it was the home side who looked the more threatening in attack with Lee Angol forcing a couple of routines saves out of David Stockdale as the home side looked to extend their lead.
Chris Powell’s side grew into the game the longer the half went on and they twice went close before the interval when a Stephen McLaughlin cross fell kindly to Simon Cox who couldn’t fire past Joel Coleman before another McLaughlin cross saw Tom Hopper head just wide.
Blues though were caught by a sucker-punch right on the stroke of half-time when they failed to deal with a corner from the left, leaving Shrewsbury’s dangerman Angol to fire home a second with virtually the last kick of the half.
Buoyed by that goal in first-half stoppage time, Shrewsbury came out looking for a goal to kill off any hopes Southend had of salvaging a point, going close early in the second period when Gilliead’s low ball found Shaun Whalley whose shot was blocked by Taylor Moore.
Moore then had an effort of his own blocked up the other end of the pitch moments before Angol forced a superb reaction save from David Stockdale. Whalley’s cross found the striker unmarked at the far post but his downward header was saved by the leg of the ‘keeper to keep the arrears at two.
Angol again forced the on-loan Birmingham goalkeeper into action with a long-range effort that was claimed at the second attempt and time was quickly running out for Blues if they were to claim anything from their trip.
Powell brought on Theo Robinson and Shawn McCoulsky in an attempt to grab one back and make a nervy finish for the home side but Southend’s best chance came after a mix-up in the Shrewsbury back-line which saw Mat Sadler almost put the ball in his own net before hooking it clear.
Blues never quite looked likely to threaten the Shrewsbury goal again after that with the Shrews fans rejoicing their first win in all competitions as the full-time whistle blew, leaving Southend to ponder what needs to change to reverse their fortunes.
Shrewsbury Town XI: Coleman, Emmanuel, Sadler (C), Beckles, Whalley, Docherty (Laurent 90+5’), Angol (John-Lewis 88’), Gilliead, Waterfall, Norburn, Grant. Subs Not Used: Arnold, Gnahoua, Bolton, Amadi-Holloway, Barnett
Blues XI: Stockdale, Coker, Dieng, Hopper, Cox (McCoulsky 80’), McLaughlin (Robinson 60’), Mantom (C), Moore, Demetriou, Bunn, White. Subs Not Used: Bishop, Bwomono, Turner, Klass, Hendrie
Referee: Christopher Sarginson
Assistants: Anthony Moore & Richard Bartlett
Fourth Official: Ravel Cheosiaua
Shrewsbury Town: Greg Docherty 5’, Lee Angol 45+2’
Southend United: None
Shrewsbury Town: Lee Angol 69’
Southend United: Stephen McLaughlin 35’, Timothee Dieng 45’, Jason Demetriou 70’, Simon Cox 76'
Attendance: 5,651 (312 Away)