Two second-half goals from Plymouth Argyle condemned ten-man Southend United to defeat at Home Park.Phil Brown’s side played for more than 75 minutes with ten men after defender Cian Bolger was shown two yellow cards within the opening 15 minutes of the game.
The ten-men more than matched their opponents up until half-time, but fell behind when Lewis Alessandra stroked the ball past Daniel Bentley from 12-yards, shortly after the restart.
Alessandra then set up Reuben Reid to make it 2-0 to the hosts as Blues’ ten-men began to tire.
The two goals were enough to see John Sherdian's side pick up all three points, and make it three without a win for Blues.
For the first time in a league game this season, Brown made a change to his starting line-up. Will Atkinson was the man to get the nod, coming in for Shaq Coulthirst who had been suffering from illness during the week.
The one change meant Blues switched to a 4-3-3 system with Myles Weston moving out to the wing, and it was he who created the first chance of the game.
He cut inside two men on the right and curled an excellent ball into the box that Barry Corr would have touched home but for a brilliant piece of defending by Pilgrims skipper Curtis Nelson.
But Blues were up against it from the 15th minute, as Bolger was shown a second yellow card. The defender had earlier tugged back Marvin Morgan, before clipping him as he turned him on the quarter of an hour mark to earn an early bath.
Blues were then aggrieved further moments later when Bolger’s replacement Adam Thompson appeared to be fouled in the penalty area. The referee put his whistle to his lips but then appeared to change his mind and allowed play to continue.
Despite the man disadvantage, Blues were more than able to match their opponents, and almost found the lead when John White linked up well with Atkinson and Barry Corr.
The defender was the man to get in behind the Pilgrims’ defence but he crossed instead of going for goal, and Kelvin Mellor was able to clear the ball away.
Argyle did come close to finding the breakthrough just before half-time, but Reid headed just wide of Daniel Bentley’s goal from Carl McHugh’s free-kick.
Blues were undone right at the start of the second-half however as right-back Mellor did well to beat two sliding tackles before teeing up Alessandra who found the bottom corner.
Alessandra was then denied a second as Luke Prosser produced an excellent last-ditch block, before Bentley did superbly well to palm away a powerful low header from McHugh as Argyle searched for a two-goal cushion.
But Bentley could do nothing shortly after as Alessandra turned provider this time to tee up Reid who headed past the despairing Bentley.
Blues continued to work hard, but were unable to find a route back into the game, as they fell to their second defeat of the league campaign.
Blues: Bentley; White, Prosser, Bolger, Coker; Hurst (Thompson), Atkinson, Leonard, Clifford; Corr (Coulthirst), Weston (Worrall).
Subs: P. Smith, Payne, Deegan, Barnard.