Southend United's pre season campaign started with a 3-0 defeat against West Ham United at a soaking wet Roots Hall this afternoon.Goals from Nicky Maynard, Jordan Spence and Sam Baldock earned the Hammers a comfortable win in front of more than 7,000 fans.
And the visitors were on top right from the start of the game.
After just two minutes, Kevin Nolan's close range effort was ruled out for offside beforeRicardo Vaz Te's neat near post flick from Matt Taylor's right wing corner was tipped wide of the target by Blues' trialist goalkeeper Rhys Taylor.
The Southend shot-stopper then did well to smother a long range shot from Taylor before the former Rotherham keeper denied the winger again with a solid stop low down to his right hand side.
But, with 22 minutes on the clock, the Hammers finally made their pressure count as Taylor's right wing corner picked out an unmarked Maynard and the striker thundered a header in to the roof of the net from close range.
West Ham did not stop there though and doubled their lead in the 34th minuite when Spence charged down the right flank and unleashed a powerful long range shot in to the bottom left hand corner of the net.
Blues made 10 changes during the interval with only Kane Ferdinand remaining on the field from the first half.
However, it was West Ham who continued to long periods of posession and the visitors made it 3-0 in the 64th minute, with Baldock working his way on to the score-sheet.
The former MK Dons forward reacted quickly to Southend's second half goalkeeper Phil Smith failing to hold a low 20 yard shot from Elliot Lee and chipped the rebound in to the back of the North Bank net.
That killed off any remaining hopes of a Blues fightback and the biggest cheer of the day from the home fans came when Freddy Eastwood replaced trialist Joe Yoffe in attack with nine minutes remaining.
But, just seconds after the returning striker's arrival, the game was held up for around five minutes following a nasty clash of heads between Mark Phillips and Dan Potts.
The latter of those players was stretchered off while Phillips also had to be withdrawn, leaving Southend with just 10 men for the closing stages.
Southend United first half: Taylor, Clohessy, Cresswell, Barker, Straker, Hurst, Gbirsson, Ferdinand, Sealy, Tomlin, Harris
Second half: Smith, Leonard, Coughlan, Phillips, Prosser, Hall, Ferdinand (Woodyard 76), Folly, Martin, Benyon, Yoffe (Eastwood 82)
Sub not used: Bentley
West Ham United: Jaaskelianen, Spence (Demel 60), Reid, McCartney (Nasha 60), Potts, Nolan (Morrison 60), Noble (Bywater 60), Taylor, Maynard (Baldock 46), Vaz Te (Lee 60), Hall (O'Neil 33)
Attendance: 7, 135