We take a look back at the 2015/16 season.The first week of February quite simply couldn’t have gone any better. Two games, six points and on the cusp of the play-offs.
Due to Shrewsbury Town’s success in the FA Cup, the game at Greenhous Meadow that was originally scheduled for Saturday 30 January was moved to the following Tuesday.
It was worth the wait, as ten-man Southend United defeated Shrewsbury Town 2-1 to move level on points with the play-off pack.
Will Atkinson put Blues ahead with a stunning 25-yard strike in the first period, before being pegged back early in the second-half by Andy Mangan.
Southend saw red for the second game running, as Michael Timlin was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence midway through the second-half.
But that was not to deter the Blues from gaining a priceless victory, when Stephen Hendrie fired the Blues’ winner with 11 minutes to go.
It was quite the moral boosting victory going into Round Two of the Essex Derby. This time Southend faced local rivals, Colchester United on home turf as Blues fans packed into Roots Hall expecting another victory.
Low and behold, Southend United were crowned Kings of Essex again after defeating the U’s 3-0.
Anthony Wordsworth made a dream return from injury putting the Blues ahead before goals from Adam Barrett and Sam McQueen put daylight between the sides.
Colchester had defended for their lives for more than hour after losing Alex Gilbey; the midfielder saw red after a two-footed lunge on Ryan Leonard.
The result put Southend hot on the heels on the play-off pack, making it three consecutive wins on the bounce. Only goal difference kept Phil Brown’s outside the top-six.
The emotional rollercoaster of football reared its head again as Southend went from derby heroes to getting zero at Scunthorpe United as the Glanford Park hoodoo continued with a 1-0 defeat.
The Blues had failed to win any of their previous 11 visits to the Iron’s home, and Paddy Madden’s first half header ensured Blues’ dismal form in North Lincolnshire continued.
Southend United succumbed to a second consecutive defeat as they went down 2-0 at Bradford City three days later.
Set-pieces continued to be the Achilles heel of the Blues as a sublime free-kick from Tony McMahon and a James Hanson header from a corner saw the home side home and dry.
As Blues play-off hopes hung in the balance, the league leaders, Burton Albion came to town on a Monday night fixture under the Roots Hall lights and on the TV cameras.
It was certainly showcase a performance as far as Southend were concerned, as they put the Brewers to the sword 3-1.
The game got off to a great start when Wordsworth was well placed to open the scoring with a strike from 18 yards after seven minutes.
Burton levelled the score with a minute left of the half. Mark Butcher ran from the touchline into the Southend box and set up Stuart Baevon who turned onto his right foot and found the bottom right hand corner via a deflection.
There was huge controversy in the build up with Southend players and fans along the sideline of the Paul Robinson West Stand claiming the ball had gone out before Butcher was allowed to travel with the ball, but the calls fell on deaf ears and the last action of the half was reason for Southend fans to let the referee know of their discontent.
Blues then re-took the lead in the 63rd minute with an unstoppable strike from Barnett.
Noel Hunt found Payne, who rode past a Burton challenge and rolled the ball onto the big centre forward who created the opening by letting the ball run across him onto his right foot and curled the ball past the outstretched hand of Jon McLaughlin into the top right corner.
Southend defended resolutely in the last 10 minutes keeping Burton at arm’s length, and there was even time for a third.
Substitute David Mooney received the ball from Sam McQueen, and the striker waited for McLaughlin to go down and he placed the ball the other side to his left.
From the high of defeating the table toppers to being toppled by Port Vale only four days later.
Southend United went down 3-1 at Vale Park on as set-pieces continued to be the downfall.
Goals from Carl Dickinson and an own-goal from a corner and free-kick respectively came either side of a Michel O’Connor strike that handed Phil Brown’s men their third consecutive defeat on the road.
A late consolation goal from McQueen did little the lift the spirits, and a stoppage time penalty miss from Mooney summed up a miserable night for the Blues.
Southend ended the month in seventh position, two points off the top-six.