Charlie Kelman’s second-half brace saw Blues reach the second round of the Carabao Cup at the expense of League Two side Stevenage thanks to a 2-1 win at The Lamex Stadium.
Blues began brightly against The Boro creating a couple of good opportunities to break the deadlock early on with Stephen McLaughlin forcing a save out of Paul Farman inside five minutes.
Against the run of play, however, Stevenage would take the lead with a superb strike from Dean Parrett, opening the scoring, as well as The Boro’s account for the season, in the 14th minute.
The goal had understandably lifted Stevenage who pushed for a second and had a good chance to extend their lead through Kurtis Guthrie who stabbed a corner wide on the stretch.
Kevin Bond’s side didn’t have to wait too long after the interval though to equalise as they restored parity within two minutes of the restart through Charlie Kelman’s first goal of the season.
A perfectly swung-in cross from the right from Elvis Bwomono found the head of Kelman six yards out with the striker thundering his header beyond Farman to make it 1-1.
It was arguably just reward for Blues who’d had a lot of the play in the first-half and they would carry the momentum forward and take the lead for the first time with Kelman grabbing his second.
McLaughlin and Nathan Ralph combined well down the left with the full-back laying the ball off to Kelman who took one touch to control before using his second to fire in at Farman’s near post.
The youngster’s brace had put Blues on course for their first win in the League Cup for almost a decade, having not won in the competition since beating Bristol City in 2010.
A Stevenage equaliser would have forced a penalty shoot-out with no extra time to be played, but Southend held out for the five additional minutes shown to advance to the second round.
Look through the match gallery from the Stevenage game above.