Chesterfield crashed to a 3-0 away defeat at Roots Hall.
The home side went in front on 28 minutes through former Spireite Kevan Hurst’s finish from close range. The lead was doubled early in the second half after Ryan Leonard smartly finished under Chesterfield goalkeeper Tommy Lee.
The rout was all but completed courtesy of Barry Corr, who lofted the ball over Lee and into the net. The away side were awarded a penalty on 68 minutes, but Marc Richards failed to convert from the spot.
The Spireites made one change from the 4-0 win at home to Bury last Saturday, with Ian Evatt taking the place of Matthew Brown.
The first real opportunity of the game fell to Corr, but his header went wide of the target. The visitors’ Ollie Banks volleyed over the crossbar from the edge of the area.
Good inter-play from Chesterfield led to Jimmy Ryan’s effort comfortably landing in the palms of Southend goalkeeper Daniel Bentley. Liam Cooper put a headed attempt high and wide of the target following a Gary Roberts free-kick.
With 29 minutes on the clock, the home side took the lead after Anthony Straker’s low pass across goal found Hurst who slotted home from six yards. Four minutes later, visiting captain Evatt was booked for a late challenge on Corr.
The away side’s penalty appeals were turned down after Roberts was supposedly brought down inside the area. On 45 minutes, the injured Luke O’Neill was replaced by Adam Thompson.
On the stroke of half-time, Southend thought they’d doubled their lead only for the ball to crash into the side netting.
After the restart, the hosts’ Straker fired low and wide of Lee’s post. Hurst squandered a fantastic opportunity after finding space inside the opposition area, as the midfielder dragged his shot wide.
With an hour on the clock, Armand Gnanduillet replaced Jay O,Shea. Moments later, the home side went two goals in front after Leonard broke free of the visitors’ defence and finished smartly under Lee.
Before you knew it, it was 3-0. Corr took advantage of a loose ball and lifted it over Lee to put daylight between the two teams. With 27 minutes to go, Dan Gardner took to the field in place of Banks.
Chesterfield were then awarded a penalty after Hurst bundled Roberts over inside the area, which Marc Richards stepped up to take before Bentley magnificently palmed the ball away from goal. On 76 minutes, Eoin Doyle replaced Richards and Southend’s Cauley Woodrow took to the field in place of Straker.
The substitute Thompson was booked for a foul on Chesterfield’s Nathan Smith. Gardner then forced a superb save from Bentley on the half-volley.
On 80 minutes, Southend’s Freddy Eastwood replaced Michael Timlin. Cooper once again fired a header over the crossbar, summing up the whole afternoon for the Spireites.
It was then announced that there would be four minutes of additional time.
The last chance of the game fell to Roberts, but on this occasion he shot straight into the arms of Bentley after he latched onto a through-ball from Gardner.