Southend United’s league woes continue as Rochdale inflicted a 3-0 defeat on Blues at Roots Hall thanks to goals from Ian Henderson, Aaron Morley and Callum Camps.
After an opening half-hour where neither side really tested each other’s goalkeeper, the visitors opened the scoring with a free-flowing move that was ended by Ian Henderson tapping in.
No more than two minutes later and Rochdale’s lead was doubled when Camps teed up Morley on the edge of the area, firing high into the roof of the net to make it 2-0 at the break.
Southend had a couple of chances to get back into the game with Stephen Humphrys forcing a save out of Robert Sanchez before Brandon Goodship curled a shot wide.
But Rochdale wrapped up the points and ensured a sixth successive league defeat for Southend as Rhys Norrington-Davies cut the ball back to Camps who found the bottom corner.
Following defeat to Wycombe last weekend and then being knocked out of the Carabao Cup by MK Dons in midweek, Kevin Bond made four changes to his side for the visit of Rochdale.
Mark Oxley returned in goal, in place of Nathan Bishop, with Nathan Ralph, John White and Luke Hyam coming into the Blues starting XI as they went in search of a first point of the campaign.
The opening half an hour was reminiscent of two boxers trying to feel their way into the opening rounds of a boxing match, with neither team truly laying a glove on one another.
Shortly after the half-hour mark though Rochdale took control of the contest by scoring twice in very quick succession, with their skipper Ian Henderson the one to break the deadlock.
Some confident build-up play from Dale led to Eoghan O’Connell finding space out on the right, with the full-back playing a low ball towards the far post for Henderson to tap in from close range.
Two minutes later and Blues’ troubles deepened when Callum Camps laid the ball back to Aaron Morley who was in acres of space on the edge of the box before firing into the roof of the net.
The half time whistle was greeted by boos from the home fans who were desperate to see their side get back into the game and get their first league point of the season.
But it looked too big a mountain to climb with Rochdale almost grabbing a third within seconds of the interval when Rekeil Pyke got on the end of a low ball into the box but couldn’t direct it at goal.
Camps then forced a save out of Mark Oxley at the end of a flowing Rochdale move, as the Blues goalkeeper done well to get down quickly to his right to save Camps’ low strike.
At 2-0 down, a Southend goal would have put them in with a shout of an unlikely point and they had a couple of good opportunities go by with Stephen Humphrys forcing a save out of Robert Sanchez.
Brandon Goodship then had an almost carbon-copy chance to Humphrys’ as he also cut in from the left, but his effort curled harmlessly wide of Sanchez’s left-hand post.
Any hope though of Southend salvaging something from the game was all but ended when Rochdale grabbed their third of the game to secure their second league win of the season.
Full-back Rhys Norrington-Davies got to the byline before cutting the ball back to Camps who found the bottom corner with a low drive to confirm a sixth successive defeat for Blues.
Blues XI: Oxley, Ralph, Hyam, Milligan (C), Humphrys, Cox, Goodship (Kelman 71’), Hamilton (Ndukwu 46’), Demetriou, Lennon, White (Kiernan 52’). Subs Not Used: Bishop, Bwomono, Hutchinson, Blackman
Rochdale XI: Sanchez, Norrington-Davies, McNulty, O’Connell, Dooley, Williams, Camps, Pyke (Rathbone 74’), Keohane, Morley, Henderson (C)(Done 81’). Subs Not Used: Lynch, McLaughlin, Andrew, Ryan, Magloire
Referee: Lee Swabey
Assistants: Anthony Da Costa & Oliver Jackson
Fourth Official: Matthew Lee
Southend United: None
Rochdale: Ian Henderson 35’, Aaron Morley 37’, Callum Camps 78’
Southend United: Luke Hyam 16’, Ethan Hamilton 29’
Rochdale: ML Williams 43’
Attendance: 5,614 (229 Away Fans)