Blues’ League Cup hoodoo continued as they suffered another first round defeat with two goals from Shawn McCoulsky securing a 2-0 win for Newport County at Roots Hall.
The League Two side had the better of the play in a quiet opening with Robbie Willmott and Tom Owen-Evans having shots blocked inside the area within the first 10-minutes of the tie.
Owen-Evans then went even closer for the Exiles as his curling effort from outside the area dipped sharply, but not enough to sneak underneath Ted Smith’s crossbar.
Brown had made five changes to the side that beat Blackburn at the weekend; one of them, Stephen McLaughlin, had the Blues first chance when his low effort was deflected wide for a corner.
That was all Southend could muster in the opening half an hour and they should have fallen behind when Willmott picked out Shawn McCoulsky only for him to head over from three-yards out.
Simon Cox had Southend’s best chance of the half thus far when, less than 10-minutes from the interval, he was picked out by a brilliant far-post cross but headed straight at ‘keeper Joe Day.
And in the final minute of the half Blues came within inches of breaking the deadlock as Stephen Hendrie was teed up on the edge of the area, seeing his first-time shot hit the foot of the post.
Southend hadn’t won a League Cup tie for seven years and early in the second half it looked like their long wait may continue as Newport took the lead through McCoulsky.
The Bristol City loanee took advantage of hesitation from Smith, beating Kiernan to the prod forward by Lamar Reynolds before rolling the ball into the empty net.
Blues’ task of reaching round two was made harder as Newport doubled their lead before the hour mark with McCoulsky grabbing his third in two games to make it 2-0 to the Exiles.
After Willmott had wriggled free of his man, Owen-Evans found space in the box and found McCoulsky two-yards out for the simplest of finishes for the League Two striker.
Phil Brown responded by bringing on Marc-Antoine Fortune and Amadou Ba, but it was to no avail as the visitors looked most likely to score next.
Owen-Evans done well find yard of space before flashing a shot across the face of goal that went inches wide of the far post, before testing the palms of Smith with a strike from 10-yards out.
Southend’s night was summed up late on when Blues countered a Newport free-kick, but as they broke two on one Ba’s pass fell short of the run of Fortune, sparking a chorus of boos from the disgruntled home fans.
Blues XI: Smith, Hendrie, Cox (Fortune 65’), McLaughlin, Kiernan, Yearwood, McGlashan (Ba 65’), Leonard (C), Demetriou, Robinson (Timlin 81’), White. Subs Not Used: Oxley, Kightly, Bridge, Kyprianou
Newport XI: Day, Pipe (C), Butler, White, Willmott, Dolan, Reynolds (Nouble 67’), McCoulsky (Foulston 90+4'), Bennett (Labadie 46’), Owen-Evans, Demetriou. Subs Not Used: Bittner, O’Brien, Rigg, Jahraldo
Referee: Antony Coggins
Assistants: Nick Hopton & Nigel Lugg
Fourth Official: David Rock
Southend United: None
Newport County: Shawn McCoulsky 52’, 59’
Southend United: None
Newport County: Matt Dolan 60’, Ben White 62'