Southend leave it late to beat 10-man Colchester
Three goals in the last eight minutes handed Southend a dramatic 3-0 win against local rivals Colchester at Roots Hall this afternoon.
The bottom-of-the-table Us had midfielder Alex Gilbey sent off for a poor challenge on Ryan Leonard after 36 minutes.
But Phil Brown's side struggled to make the breakthrough until the closing stages when Anthony Wordsworth, Adam Barrett and Sam McQueen all netted in quick succession.
Colchester held their own early on and came close to taking the lead when Richard Brindley's right-wing cross was tipped onto the crossbar by Shrimpers goalkeeper Daniel Bentley.
After Gilbey's red card, the Us were forced to sit back - but their defence was not breached until the 82nd minute when substitute Wordsworth netted from 20 yards against his former team.
Six minutes later, Southend skipper Barrett headed home a right-wing corner from Jack Payne before on-loan Southampton striker Sam McQueen, who was celebrating his 21st birthday, completed the scoring with a close-range shot in stoppage time.