Southend suffered a third successive league defeat as a late Armand Gnanduillet header secured a 2-1 win for Blackpool at Roots Hall.
Blues went close early on when Michael Kightly hit the inside of the post after a mistake by goalkeeper Mark Howard before Oliver Turton put Blackpool ahead, thumping in a low cross from Marc Bola inside quarter of an hour.
Blackpool almost doubled their advantage early in the second-half when Jay Spearing rattled the crossbar with a deflected effort before the Tangerines captain went close again, curling the ball wide while unmarked on the edge of the area.
Southend would capitalise on that missed opportunity by levelling when Jason Demetriou stooped low to head in Timothee Dieng’s cross, but Blues were undone again when Gnanduillet rose to head in Harry Pritchard’s cross for the winner.
Minutes after Gnanduillet’s header, Blues were reduced to 10 men as Michael Turner was shown a straight red card for an apparent stamp on a Blackpool player as Southend were unable to prevent a third straight league defeat.
Once again, Blackpool had proven how hard they were to get past on the road – having only lost once away in the league prior to their trip to Roots Hall – and Chris Powell must now pick his side up for Tuesday night’s Emirates FA Cup replay at Crawley Town.
Going into this afternoon’s game, Southend had been lifted somewhat by their midweek Checkatrade win over Southampton following three games without a win and they were gifted a chance to take the lead after a mix-up at the back by the visitors early on.
Goalkeeper Mark Howard’s attempted clearance hit a Blackpool defender allowing Michael Kightly to nip in and, with the goalie off his line, the winger’s lob had Howard well beaten only for the ball to come off the inside of the post and away for a huge let off for the visitors.
Terry McPhillips’ side would take advantage of that good piece of fortune and would make the breakthrough before the quarter-hour mark when full-back Oliver Turton got on the end of a low ball into the box by Marc Bola, powering the ball home from close range to put Blackpool in front.
Blues responded well to early set-back and Stephen Hendrie went close with a low drive that went just wide of Howard's post before Harry Bunn picked out Simon Cox in the area only for the striker’s glancing header to also go wide.
Southend were dealt a blow when Dru Yearwood was forced off injured after half an hour, being replaced by Shawn McCoulsky, but despite the change of personnel and shape, Blues were unable to trouble Howard in the Blackpool goal going into the half-time interval.
After a scrappy first-half which Blackpool had edged, the visitors went within a whisker of doubling the lead early in the second-half after Jay Spearing’s rasping effort from distance took a huge deflection before rattling the underside of the crossbar.
The Blues were in desperate need of a lift and the noise around Roots Hall rose when Kightly’s cross was only cleared as far as Hendrie. The full-back chested the ball down before firing a half-volley towards goal which needed tipping over the bar by Howard.
Southend continued to push forward and had a half shout for a penalty waved away when Harry Bunn went down inside the area before Spearing had the chance to quash Blues’ momentum by shooting just wide when unmarked on the edge of the Southend box.
If Spearing had hit the target it would have been curtains for Blues, but instead Chris Powell’s side immediately went up the other end and grabbed an equaliser. Timothee Dieng’s looping cross found the run of Jason Demetriou who stooped to head Southend level with 15 minutes to go.
Having worked so hard to get back level, Southend’s tendency to concede late goals came back to haunt them once more when Armand Gnanduillet nodded Blackpool back in front. The striker rose highest to get to Harry Pritchard’s cross, beating Oxley from 12-yards out.
Minutes after going behind a second time, Southend’s task of salvaging a point were all but ended when they were reduced to 10 men after Michael Turner appeared to stamp on a Blackpool player, leaving the referee with no choice but to show the centre-back a straight red card.
Blackpool comfortably held out for their fourth straight win in all competitions, condemning Blues to a third straight defeat in the league ahead of Tuesday night’s Emirates FA Cup replay away at Crawley Town.
Blues XI: Oxley, Turner, Kightly (McLaughlin 74’), Dieng, Cox, Yearwood (McCoulsky 31’), Mantom (C), Moore, Demetriou, Bunn, Hendrie (Robinson 87’). Subs Not Used: Bishop, Bwomono, Hyam, McLaughlin, Kyprianou
Blackpool XI: Howard, Daniels, Heneghan, Delfouneso, Spearing (C), Dodoo (Nottingham 70’), Tilt, Turton, Gnaduillet, Guy (Pritchard 60’), Bola. Subs Not Used: Boney, Cullen, O’Sullivan, Taylor, Feeney
Referee: Nicholas Kinseley
Assistants: Marc Wilson & Richard Kendall
Fourth Official: Geoffrey Russell
Southend United: Jason Demetriou 74’
Blackpool: Oliver Turton 14’
Southend United: None
Southend United: Michael Turner 85’
Attendance: 6,882 (241 Away)