Blues fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat against Mansfield Town at Roots Hall as Jamie Reid’s solitary goal was enough to seal a win for the visitors with Southend ending the game with 10 men.
After a goalless first-half where Mansfield had a Reid effort cleared off the line by Timothee Dieng, those two would be involved in the second-half’s two biggest talking points as Reid tapped the Stags in front after Mark Oxley parried Jordan Bowery’s shot into the path of Reid.
Dieng would then receive a red card, after being booked earlier in the half for a late challenge, the Southend midfielder was given a second yellow for an altercation with Harry Charsley as Blues suffered a second straight defeat at home.
Following the midweek defeat to Cambridge, this afternoon was another opportunity for Blues to climb out of the relegation zone if they could pick up a win against a Mansfield side that had found form in recent weeks, unbeaten in their last five including four successive wins.
Mark Molesley made two changes from Tuesday with Reeco Hackett-Fairchild and Kyle Taylor coming into the starting line-up, and the latter had the game’s first effort on goal as he picked the ball up in midfield before curling his shot harmlessly wide of Aidan Stone’s goal.
Southend had another half-chance come and go when Alan McCormack dragged a shot wide from a corner before Blues’ best chance of the half came when Hackett-Fairchild broke down the left, playing the ball across goal for Simeon Akinola whose low shot was saved by Stone.
Blues though began to live dangerously at the back as the half wore on and were it not for Timothee Dieng the Stags would have gone in front as Jamie Reid struck after a goalmouth scramble only to see Dieng clear off the goal line.
Mansfield kept pushing and created another great chance as Reid and George Lapslie linked up well allowing the Charlton loanee to go clean through, but Mark Oxley read the danger superbly, coming quickly off his line to clear with a sliding challenge.
Early in the second-half, Southend went close to breaking the deadlock when Akinola found some space on the left to dig out a good cross into the box. The ball in found the head of Dieng but the Frenchman couldn’t direct his header on target.
The visitors would go on to punish Blues for that missed chance as they scored after the hour mark when Reid put Mansfield in front. Neat work from Jordan Bowery on the left allowed him to get his shot away only for Oxley to parry it to the grateful Reid who scored from close range.
Southend needed a response and felt they had a big claim for a penalty when Dieng appeared to be poleaxed in the box by Stags captain Ryan Sweeney, but referee Speedie wasn’t interested in Blues’ forlorn appeals.
And Southend’s task of grabbing a vital equaliser was dealt a huge blow when Molesley’s side were reduced to 10 men. Dieng, who’d been booked early after the restart, had a coming together with Harry Charsley which was enough for the ref to show him a second yellow card.
Blues though still had one last chance in them to grab an unlikely point when Akinola was picked out at the far post by a cross from Hackett-Fairchild, but the striker’s header lacked the power needed to beat Stone as Southend fell to a second straight defeat.
Blues XI: Oxley, Bwomono (Clifford 46’), McCormack (Nathaniel-George 59’), Hobson (Acquah 73’), Dieng, Akinola, Hackett-Fairchild, Halford, K Taylor, Hart, White (C). Subs Not Used: Seaden, Howard, R Taylor, Stewart
Mansfield Town XI: Stone, Sweeney (C), Rawson, Charsley, Bowery, Maris, Gordon, Quinn (Cook 77’), Reid, McLaughlin (Benning 90+2'), Lapslie. Subs Not Used: Stech, O’Keeffe, Perch, Maynard, Law
Referee: Benjamin Speedie
Assistants: Andy Bennett & Joseph Stokes
Fourth Official: Louis Marks
Southend United: None
Mansfield Town: Jamie Reid 64’
Southend United: Timothee Dieng 54’, Sam Hart 78’
Mansfield Town: Stephen Quinn 71’
Southend United: Timothee Dieng 84’
Mansfield Town: None