Southend United suffered late heartache losing 1-0 at home to Burton Albion at Roots Hall this evening after playing 79 minutes with ten men.
Jacques Maghoma’s last gasp free kick gave the Brewers all three points after the home side lost midfielder John Spicer early on for a mistimed challenge.
Blues suffered a massive blow in the 11th minute after Spicer received a straight red card for a foul on former player Matt Paterson.
The midfielder misjudged a pass from Michael Timlin and while attempting to win the ball back he mistimed his tackle clattering into Paterson in the centre circle which the referee deemed a sending off.
There was more drama at Roots Hall with referee Keith Stroud also leaving the field of play with an injury in the 17th minute.
Both sides struggled to create any clear cut chances with the first shot on target of the match coming from Freddy Eastwood’s deflected strike from 20 yards out which was easily saved by Stuart Tomlinson in goal for Albion.
Blues came even closer in the 42nd minute with David Martin cutting in between two players before firing inches over the bar from the edge of the area as Southend didn’t let the one man deficit affect them.
With the scores level at half time Southend had the first chance after the restart in the 47th minute with Britt Assombalonga heading wide Sean Clohessy’s teasing right hand cross as Blues looked to take the lead in this close affair.
Excellent trickery from Martin down the left wing gave Kevan Hurst the perfect opportunity six yards out with a header which the wide man was unable to connect to properly skewing his header wide for a goal kick as Southend continued to press.
Second half Burton substitutes Adi Yussuf and Justin Richards nearly combined instantly after coming on for the Brewers with the latter failing to connect to Yussuf’s low ball across the face of goal.
The two combined again with Yussuf fizzling a volley inches over the bar in the 65th minute after Richards’ chested pass fell perfectly for the Tanzanian striker.
Gary Rowett’s tactical changes nearly paid off as Yussuf was in the thick of the action heading over Maghoma’s cross as Burton were still unable to hit the target after 76 minutes of play.
The Brewers thought they had snatched all three points in the 87th minute with Maghoma firing a stunning right footed shot which looked destined for the top corner only to be denied by an excellent acrobatic save from Daniel Bentley in the Southend goal.
In injury time Maghoma stole victory with a rasping 30 yard free kick which skidded across the surface and into the back of the net giving Burton maximum points against a spirited Southend United side.