Blues returned to winning ways with a comfortable 3-0 win against Accrington Stanley at Roots Hall thanks to goals from Sam Mantom, Simon Cox and Theo Robinson.
Accrington looked the better side early on but Southend caught the visitors with two quick goals with Mantom putting in the rebound after Cox’s effort was saved by Connor Ripley.
Chris Powell’s side then doubled their advantage four minutes later when Cox bundled the ball home after a Stephen Hendrie half-volley was again parried by Ripley.
And Robinson then wrapped up the points midway through the second-half with a well-taken strike from the edge of the area to lift the mood around Roots Hall following a poor run in the league.
Both sides had come into this afternoon’s game as the bottom two sides in the form table and Chris Powell and John Coleman were desperate for three points going into the Christmas run of fixtures.
Blues boss Chris Powell said that six points from the next two home league games against Stanley and Rochdale were “a must” and following last weekend’s defeat to the league leaders Portsmouth, Southend made just one change with Theo Robinson coming in for Michael Turner.
John Coleman’s side looked to have been on their way to a positive result against Sunderland last weekend before their game got abandoned after 74 minutes and they started the game brightly at Roots Hall with Billy Kee and Sam Finley both going close to breaking the deadlock.
The small band of travelling Accrington fans thought they’d seen their side take the lead inside 10 minutes when Offrande Zanzala hit the side netting following a Finley cross and the visitors continued to look the more likely to open the scoring.
But Blues would hit Accrington with a sucker-punch midway through the first-half by scoring twice in the space of four minutes with Sam Mantom and Simon Cox scoring with Southend’s first meaningful attempts on goal.
Cox found space inside the penalty area to get his shot away which was parried by goalkeeper Connor Ripley, but only into the path of the Blues captain Mantom who slotted the ball home from a tight angle to give Southend the lead.
Moments later and Mantom’s short corner out to Stephen Hendrie saw the full-back fire the ball towards goal with a well-struck shot. Once again Ripley was equal to the strike only to see Cox bundle in the rebound from close range for a quickfire double.
With Southend having gone in front arguably against the run of play, Accrington looked to nick one back before the interval and they should have halved the deficit before the break when defender Michael Ihiekwe headed over from inside the six-yard box.
Accrington continued to press for a goal back after the interval and only some heroics from John White prevented the visitors grabbing one back when he superbly cleared the ball off the line from underneath his own crossbar following a cross from Daniel Barlaser.
Stanley were starting to ramp up the pressure on the Blues backline and their captain Sean McConville forced Mark Oxley into action with a swerving shot from distance that had to be tipped over by the Blues stopper.
Oxley was then called upon once again moments later when McConville was found by a right-wing cross, heading the ball towards goal only for the Blues goalkeeper to hold onto the effort as Accrington continued to push forward.
However, for all of the visitor's hard work, the wind was well and truly taken out of them when Southend grabbed a third of the game and all but wrapped up the three points when Robinson put Blues 3-0 up.
A well-weighted ball from his strike-partner Cox found the run of Robinson who expertly curled the ball beyond the on-rushing Ripley to put Southend within touching distance of only their second win in their last seven league matches.
All that was left to achieve was for Blues to keep a clean-sheet in testing weather conditions in Essex and Southend defended manfully right until the end with Elvis Bwomono bravely getting in the way of a goal-bound strike from Jordan Clark.
The win lifts the pressure on Blues who climb into the top half of the table and will give Powell’s side some confidence going into next weekend’s home game against Keith Hill’s Rochdale.
Blues XI: Oxley, Bwomono, Hyam, Dieng, Cox (Kightly 80’), McLaughlin (Yearwood 69’), Mantom (C), Moore, Robinson (Hutchinson 90+2’), Hendrie, White. Sub Not Used: Bishop, Turner, Klass, McCoulsky
Accrington Stanley XI: Ripley, Johnson, Hughes (Sykes 74’), Ihiekwe, Clark, Zanzala (Hall 65’), McConville (C), Finley (Brown 77’), Anderton, Barlaser, Kee. Subs Not Used: Maxted, Richards-Everton, Mingoia, Conneely
Referee: Antony Coggins
Assistants: Carl Fitch-Jackson & Paul Yates
Fourth Official: Michael Webb
Southend United: Sam Mantom 19’, Simon Cox 23’, Theo Robinson 72’
Accrington Stanley: None
Southend United: None
Accrington Stanley: Michael Ihiekwe 51’, Sam Finley 63’
Attendance: 6,286 (88 Away)