Paddy Madden strike edges Scunthorpe past Southend
An early strike from leading marksman Paddy Madden steered Scunthorpe to a deserved 1-0 victory against Southend in Sky Bet League One.
It was their third win on the trot under the charge of joint caretaker bosses Nick Daws and Andy Dawson.
But it put a dent in the play-off ambitions of the visitors who suffered their first defeat in five games.
Scunthorpe made a confident start, dominating most of the first half.
They were rewarded with an 11th-minute lead when Madden headed home his 17th goal of the season from close range after a free-kick high into the box from Stephen Ness had been flicked on at the near post.
Only two good saves from Daniel Bentley prevented Southend from falling further behind, each time keeping out close-range efforts from midfield man Neal Bishop.
The visitors struggled to make an impression as an attacking force.
Five minutes into the second half Southend boss Phil Brown opted for a double substitution, bringing on Anthony Wordsworth and Jamar Loza to give them more bite in midfield.
Ten minutes later Noel Hunt was also thrown into the action as the visitors searched for improvement.
But it was Scunthorpe who continued to threaten and they were unlucky not to increase their lead in the 62nd minute when Murray Wallace crashed a header against the bar from a Luke Williams free-kick.