Southend stroll to victory to leave Chesterfield on brink of relegation
Southend got their play-off challenge back on track with a comfortable 4-0 win at 10-man Chesterfield, who are all-but relegated.
After defeats in their last two Sky Bet League One games, Phil Brown's side took an early lead from the penalty spot when Simon Cox fired home.
Anthony Wordsworth and Cox breached the static Spireites defence in the second half to kill the contest while Marc-Antoine Fortune made it four with his first touch after coming off the bench.
Just before the break Dion Donohue was dismissed for a foul on Jason Demetriou to add to Chesterfield's woes.
Cox was the man that earned and scored Southend's 15th-minute penalty. On the ball, he stood firm as giant German keeper Thorsten Stuckmann scampered towards him and when contact was made the referee had an easy decision to make and the spot-kick was duly converted.
Poor defending contributed to United's three second-half goals, Wordsworth converting a Demetriou cross while Cox took advantage of some solid Will Atkinson work before Fortune slipped through a shell-shocked defence to complete the scoring.