Blues suffered their first defeat in pre-season as three goals in 11 minutes from Premier League Brighton secured them a 3-0 win over Southend at Roots Hall.
Neither side really got going in the early stages of the game with Michael Kightly’s near-post free kick hitting the side netting and Pascal Gross’ low drive easily held by Ted Smith.
Marc-Antoine Fortune had Southend’s best chance with his snap-shot that was well gathered by the diving Niki Maenpaa, whilst Steve Sidwell forced a smart save with his feet from Smith.
New signing Izzy Brown was on display for the Seagulls just hours after the club announced his arrival, and three goals in the final 11 minutes of the half put his new team firmly in control.
Solly March was the one to break the deadlock for the visitors as he was teed up by Liam Rosenior, with March whipping the ball into the far corner to give Brighton to lead.
Minutes later and March was on target again, receiving the ball outside the area before sending a low drive across goal and beyond Smith to make it 2-0 to the Premier League new boys.
And before the half was up, Glenn Murray headed in from close range following Markus Suttner’s superb cross to give Chris Hughton’s side a commanding lead going into the interval.
Having blown Southend away with their late first-half blitz, the second half meandered along with little in the way of goalmouth action for either side.
Fortune produced a little bit of magic to skip beyond two Brighton defenders and create himself a chance on goal only to slash his shot harmlessly wide of Maenpaa’s near-post.
That was the best the Blues could muster as Brighton went close to adding some gloss to the win with a fourth late on, only for Smith to make another save with his feet to deny James Tilley.
Blues had been well beaten by their Premier League opponents and travel to Cambridge United on Saturday for their final pre-season game before the league opener against Blackburn Rovers.
Blues XI: Smith, Hendrie, White, Cox (Trialist 77’), Ferdinand, Kightly, Timlin, Fortune (Robinson 67’), Yearwood (McGlashan 67’), Leonard, Demetriou. Subs Not Used: Oxley, Matsuzaka, Cotton, Bridge, Klass, Kyprianou
Southend United: None
Brighton & Hove Albion: Solly March 34’, 41’, Glenn Murray 45’