Bristol Rovers strengthen play-off challenge with win over Southend
First-half goals from Billy Bodin and Rory Gaffney strengthened Bristol Rovers' League One play-off challenge as they beat Southend 2-0 at the Memorial Stadium.
Rovers were ahead inside a minute as Bodin cut in from the right and buried a trademark left-footed shot into the opposite corner of the net.
It was 2-0 on 31 minutes with a similar goal. This time it was Gaffney who took aim from the right corner of the box and found the net via the inside of the far post with his right foot.
Southend boss Phil Brown reacted with a double substitution on 37 minutes, sending on Nile Ranger and Stephen McLaughlin for Marc-Antoine Fortune and Will Atkinson.
Rovers could have been out of sight by the break as Southend goalkeeper Ted Smith made several fine saves.
Southend dominated possession after the interval, but came up against a resolute Rovers defence. The nearest they came to pulling one back was a 56th minute free-kick from Simon Cox, well saved by Joe Lumley.