Burton end Blues' promotion hopes
Southend United suffered play-off heartache at Roots Hall this afternoon after a 2-2 draw against Burton Albion was not enough after the 1-0 defeat in the first leg.
Blues went behind after Marcus Holness' header found the back of the net but two goals in quick succession from Ryan Leonard and Anthony Straker brought Blues level on aggregate.
With only 20 minutes remaining Burton found an equaliser through Adam McGurk after the ball fortunately fell to him six yards out.
Southend started brightly but it was Burton who had the first real chance in the game after Chris Hussey's free-kick was turned towards goal by Dominic Knowles but Daniel Bentley was alert to the strike and pulled off a comfortable save.
Minutes later McGurk tried his luck with a long range effort but the strike lacked power and Bentley claimed with ease.
Blues hit back in the 14th minute with Barry Corr rising highest to Will Atkinson's cross but Dean Lyness in the Albion goal wasn't tested.
Southend were pressing and Kevan Hurst unleashed a superb right footed strike from 25 yards with Lyness just managed to tip over the bar.
Blues were dealt a huge blow in the 21st minute after Holness was left unmarked in the box to simply head home Hussey's free-kick.
The burly centre back leapt the highest in the box and powered a header straight down the throat of Bentley in goal giving the keeper no chance.
Southend equalised in the 32nd minute after a superb acrobatic finish from Leonard gave Lyness no chance in the Burton goal.
The midfielder chested the ball with his back to goal 12 yards out before pulling off a superb overhead kick which found the right corner of the net.
Blues were buoyed by the goal and took the lead in the 39th minute through Straker's cushioned header at the back post.
Michael Timlin's diagonal ball found the speedy winger at the back post after the midfielder snuck through a number of Albion players before nodding the ball into the net.
Southend started the second half just like they ended the first with Leonard looking for his second of the match, charging down the wing before trying his luck from an acute angle.
A last gasp tackle prevented Albion from equalising in the 56th minute after McGurk found space in the box before a combination of Ben Coker and John Egan blocked the left footed effort.
Southend suffered another setback after 70 minutes with McGurk finding the net after the ball fell fortunately to him six yards out giving Burton the equalising goal.
Hussey's free kick wasn't cleared and McGurk turned sharply before finding the corner of the net giving Albion the aggregate lead.
Blues struggled to get past the Albion defence and it was the away side who continued to create chances with Hussey fizzing a left footed strike towards the corner of the goal which Bentley had to parry to safety.
With six minutes added on Southend pressed with Leonard fizzing an effort inches wide of the target with Lyness rooted to the spot in the Albion goal.
Southend struggled in vain to find a winner, which would've taken the game to extra time with the game finishing 2-2 and Burton winning 3-2 on aggregate.
Southend United - Bentley, White, Egan, Sokolik, Coker, Timlin (Clifford 65) Atkinson (Payne 79) , Leonard, Hurst, Corr, Straker (Eastwood 72) (subs) Smith, Prosser, Eastwood, Murphy, Clifford, Payne, Barnard
Burton Albion - Lyness, Edwards, Hussey, Bell, Weir, McFadzean, Knowles (Kee 53) McGurk, Holness, Cansdell-Sherriff, Gray ( McDonald 64)(Lainton, Alexander, Palmer, Diamond, McDonald, Symes, Kee