SOUTHEND United hit four goals away from home for the second time in the space of four days with an emphatic win at AFC Wimbledon tonight.
Striker Gavin Tomlin bagged his second brace in quick succession while Ryan Cresswell and substitute Barry Corr were also on target as Blues secured a 4-0 win at Kingsmeadow.
And that also made it six games unbeaten for Paul Sturrock’s side.
Despite the eventual score-line, Blues did have to withstand an early spell of Dons pressure and, with six minutes on the clock, Jake Reeves unleashed a well struck 30 yard shot which skimmed the top of the crossbar on its way over Paul Smith’s goal.
Moments later, Jim Fenlon fired just past the left post from a similar distance but, in the 33rd minute, it was Blues’ turn to threaten as Tamika Mkandawire’s well struck shot from the edge of the penalty area was smothered by Dons’ veteran goalkeeper Neil Sullivan.
Southend went close again four minutes later when a well worked corner saw Kevan Hurst roll the ball in to Tomlin who turned neatly at the near post before delivering a chipped cross which Mark Phillips headed wide of the left post.
After the two close calls however, Blues were handed a scare when top goalscorer Britt Assombalonga smashed in to the advertising hoardings on the side of the pitch.
But, while he received treatment from physiotherapist Ben Clarkson, Southend took the lead in the 43rd minute, with Tomlin continuing his fine form in front of goal.
The experienced forward charged on to a looping through ball from Hurst before brilliantly firing an angled 18 yard shot in to the bottom left hand corner of the net.
Blues almost doubled that lead at the start of the second half when a shocking back-pass from Fenton teed up Assombalonga but the striker’s shot on the slide was blocked by the legs of Sullivan.
Assombalonga went causing further problems in the 49th minute when he headed over a right wing cross from Sean Clohessy.
However, Sturrock’s side did not have to wait long to double their lead as Cresswell bagged his sixth goal of the season.
With 61 minutes on the clock, the towering centre-back rose superbly well to meet a deep left wing corner from Hurst before powering the ball in to the back of the net from six yards.
Blues should then have made it 3-0 four minutes later when Hurst raced clean through on goal.
But the winger bizarrely chose to shoot from 16 yards and could only fire the ball straight at Sullivan.
Hurst was soon able to make amends though as, in the 67th minute, he delivered a fantastic left wing free-kick which Tomlin headed in to the left hand side of the goal from close range.
After Southend’s third goal, boss Sturrock made his first substitution of the night with Barry Corr replacing Assombalonga in attack before Luke Prosser also came on for Chris Barker at left-back.
And it was Corr who completed the scoring three minutes from time when he controlled a right wing corner from Hurst before drilling a 12 yard shot in to the bottom left hand corner of the net to ensure Blues maintained their 100 per cent record against the Dons.