Southend United continued their unbeaten start under Chris Powell with a hard-fought 3-1 win against Portsmouth at Roots Hall.
Blues were gifted the opening goal inside the first six minutes when Matt Clarke scored past his own goalkeeper in an attempt to clear the ball from Shayon Harrison after he’d nipped into the area.
The home side then doubled their lead with Jason Demetriou’s well-struck effort that curled away from the despairing dive of Luke McGee with less than quarter of an hour on the clock.
Portsmouth got themselves back in the game before the break when Gareth Evans tapped in from close range and the visitors pressed for an equaliser early in the second-half.
Their momentum though was quashed when Nathan Thompson was shown a straight red card for a foul on Ben Coker and Southend would make the game safe with Demetriou’s second late on.
The win maintained Blues’ unbeaten start since Powell took charge with the Southend boss now overseeing four wins and a draw out of his five league games at the helm.
The only game Blues haven’t won in that spell was the stalemate against Bury at Gigg Lane on Tuesday night and Powell made just the one change from that draw with Simon Cox coming in.