Defeat to MK Dons dents Southend's play-off ambitions
Southend's push for the Sky Bet League One play-offs was dented by a 2-1 defeat against MK Dons at Roots Hall.
The seventh-placed Shrimpers had been hoping to move up into the top six with a win.
But two Dons goals in nine minutes at the start of the second half saw Phil Brown's side suffer a costly setback.
MK Dons came closest to scoring in the first 45 minutes when Harvey Barnes' effort was cleared off the goal-line by a sliding Jason Demetriou.
However, the Dons broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute with centre-back Joe Walsh heading home a right-wing corner from Ben Reeves.
Southend almost netted an immediate equaliser with Anthony Wordsworth curling a 25 yard free-kick against the outside of the left post.
But Dons doubled their lead in the 62nd minute with former Shrimpers loanee Reeves firing home after Christian Walton had parried a shot from Kieran Agard.
Walton then did well to deny both Agard and Barnes before Southend rallied late on with Anton Ferdinand hitting the post and Simon Cox netting an injury-time penalty after Marc-Antoine Fortune had been brought down by George Baldock.