Brandon Goodship’s first goal at Roots Hall wasn’t enough to prevent Southend from exiting the Carabao Cup at the second round stage following a 4-1 defeat to MK Dons.
The Dons looked the most threatening in the early stages of the contest with goalkeeper Nathan Bishop tested a handful of times in the opening 10 minutes by the visitors.
Bishop needed to have his wits about him after fumbling Jordan Bowery’s snap-shot, quickly getting back up to dive at the feet of Kieran Agard who was coming in to score the rebound.
Rhys Healey then made Bishop punch a vicious shot at his near-post before Healey had a headed chance that he will feel he should have done better with, heading well wide.
Alex Gilbey continued the pressure with a shot that was pushed away by Bishop before Agard had another shot well blocked inside the box in a frantic opening quarter of the game for the visitors.
Southend found their feet as the game reached the midway point of the half and Simon Cox was denied a superb opening goal as his left-footed effort was brilliantly tipped away by Stuart Moore.
But any momentum Blues had was quickly swept away as Dons took the lead after the half-hour mark as Agard teed up Healey who calmly found the bottom corner to put Dons 1-0 up.
Blues’ problems would deepen further before half-time as Paul Tisdale’s side would double their advantage with a fantastic strike from Callum Brittain that kissed the crossbar on its way in.
Coming out for the second-half, Southend knew they had to get the next goal if they were to have any chance of staying in the contest and they got one back almost immediately after the restart.
A counter-attack down the right ended with Stephen Humphrys drilling a cross-come-shot across the face of goal which was tapped in by Goodship to put Blues back in the tie.
That goal from Goodship, his first at Roots Hall since joining in the summer, lifted the Roots Hall crowd who were now roaring their side on as they went in search of an equaliser.
And Kevin Bond’s team kept pushing forward, with Ethan Hamilton effort cleared off the line by Joe Walsh before Humphrys saw his header go narrowly over the crossbar from the resulting corner.
MK Dons though ended any hope of a comeback with suckerpunch goal with less than 10 minutes remaining, with sub Hiram Boateng weaving his way into the box before firing in.
And the visitor’s passage into the third round was completed in injury-time as Dons added gloss to the score line as another sub, Sam Nombe, added a fourth with a power effort.
Blues XI: Bishop, Milligan (C), Humphrys, Cox, Goodship, Hamilton, Mantom, Shaughnessy, Demetriou (Bwomono 46’), Lennon, Blackman (Ndukwu 68’). Subs Not Used: Oxley, Hyam, Ridgewell, Kiernan, Ndukwu, Kelman
MK Dons XI: Moore, Lewington (C), Walsh, Poole, Gilbey, Bowery (Williams 81’), Healey (Boateng 66’), Agard (Nombe 66’), Martin, Brittain, Kasumu. Subs Not Used: Nicholls, Cargill, Dickenson, Houghton
Southend United: Brandon Goodship 54;
MK Dons: Rhys Healey 35’, Callum Brittain 41’, Hiram Boateng 82’, Sam Nombe 90+2’
Southend United: Stephen Humphrys 28’
MK Dons: None
Referee: Neil Hair
Assistants: Andrew Williams and Stuart Butler
Fourth Official: Nicholas Cooper
Attendance: 2,433 (234 Away Fans)