REPORT | Bury 3-2 Southend UnitedSouthend United fell to a 3-2 defeat against Bury at the JD Stadium as a late Ryan Lowe penalty gave the Shakers all three points.
Blues had taken the lead through Franck Moussa, and once again through David Mooney after a Barrett own goal had levelled things up.
But a brace from Lowe, the second of which came from the spot after Sam McQueen was adjudged to have handled in second half stoppage time, handed the Blues a final day loss.
Phil Brown made three changes for the final game of the 2015/16 season at Bury with Frank Moussa making his second Blues debut, a first start for Jack Bridge and Worrall coming in to replace John White.
The Blues were greeted by a noisy away following as the entered the pitch on a scorching hot day at the JD Stadium.
And the loyal Southend Supporters were celebrating as early as the eighth minute as Moussa made it a goalscoring return - hammering into the far corner on the half volley from the edge of the box.
That gave Phil Brown’s side a big boost of confidence as they took the game to Bury. Barnett going close twice before the quarter-hour mark with one shot blocked and the other comfortably saved.
Bridge then put in an inviting cross on 17’ which Mooney came within inches of latching on to, but it just evaded him and the other Blues players hunting it down in the box.
Blues could be seen as quite unlucky to be pegged back on 21 minutes as Adam Barrett turned Lowe’s cross past Smith and into his own net.
That wasn’t to deter Southend though, and they retook the lead two minutes later as Mooney squeezed the ball past Neal to give Blues the advantage off the post.
Barnett then went close minutes later as Southend broke, but he put his shot wide of the target.
Bury thought they had struck again with Ryan Lowe converting with a low drive on the left on 29’, but his celebrations were cut short as it was ruled out for offside.
Lowe and Bury would not be denied less than a minute later though; the midfielder tied the scores up by scoring with a side-foot finish in the box after being teed up.
In an end-to-end affair Leonard was next to go closest on 41’ as Mooney’s cross parried out to him on the edge, but his shot was straight into the arms of Neal.
As four minutes of first half stoppage time was added, Blues had a golden chance to go in to the break ahead as Malarczyk found the ball drop to him four-yards out.
The ball just didn’t sit up right for the defender, and it was cleared out to Worrall who shaved the post with a right-footed curler from outside the box.
Half Time: Bury 2-2 Southend United
The second half began as an even affair, Worrall looking to cause problems on the right, finding the head of Barnett twice in the opening ten minutes, but neither effort troubled keeper Neal.
Bridge could be very pleased with his performance as he was replaced by Payne on 55’. The 20-year-old was given a standing ovation by the travelling support as he left the pitch.
Payne was straight in the action and nearly played a hand in Blues retaking the lead as they broke from an under hit free kick in to the box by Hussey.
The ball was played into the channel to Payne, who squared it Mooney who smacked the bar with his effort after beating Neal all ends up.
Thompson replaced Malarczyk in the heart of defence as Bury looked to take the lead themselves on 64 minutes as sub Rose fired over.
Back came Blues as Moussa found space on the left-hand side of the box, flashing an effort across goal which Neal did well to palm away on 64’. That was to be Moussa’s last contribution as he was replaced by McQueen.
A McQueen cross on 71 minutes found Barnett who in turn put it into the path of Payne. The playmaker, at a tough angle dragged the shot across goal and just wide of the target.
Barrett was on hand to turn a dangerous cross from Lowe away for a corner as Bury looked to pounce in the final ten minutes.
The pace of the game slowed down as it reached its closing stages with Southend trying to make Bury work in the heat with some neat, intricate passing.
Southend looked most likely to score as the game trickled towards added time, Worrall and Coker doing their best to create something by whipping balls into the area.
But it was Bury who were gifted the chance to snatch the points in stoppage time as McQueen was deemed to have handled in the box.
Lowe stepped up to give the home side the win, leaving Southend to finish the season with a fifth consecutive defeat.
Southend United | Smith, Worrall, Malarczyk, Barrett (C), Coker, Atkinson, Leonard, Moussa, Bridge, Mooney, Barnett.
Subs | Bentley, Thompson, Payne, Hunt, McQueen, Deegan, Loza.
Bury | Neal, Hussey, Tutte, Clarke, Etuhu, Mellis, Mayor, Jones, Lowe (C), Soares, Dudley.
Subs | Lawlor, Pope, Pugh, Rose, Styles, Bourne, Williams.