SOUTHEND United sunk to their first league defeat of the season at Roots Hall tonight, suffering a 1-0 defeat against AFC Wimbledon.

The Shrimpers wasted a number of opportunities in the first half with Myles Weston and Shaq Coulthirst both being denied.

But the Dons stood firm and secured victory for the third season in succession away at Blues, with George Francomb firing home on the hour mark.

Southend’s wastefulness in front of goal began after just three minutes when Weston raced clean through on goal.

But, with just Dons goalkeeper James Shea to beat, the Shrimpers striker attempted to fire home with the outside of his left foot and sent his shot well wide of the right post.

In reply, AFC Wimbledon midfielder Francomb saw a well struck 25 yard volley smartly saved to his left by Blues custodian Daniel Bentley.

But Blues were soon back on top and almost broke the deadlock when midfielder Conor Clifford charged forward and curled a 20 yard shot just inches wide of the right post.

Moments later his midfield partner Ryan Leonard sent a swerving effort straight at Shea before the Dons goalkeeper did well to top a well struck shot from Shaq Coulthirst over the crossbar after the on loan Tottenham Hotspur youngster had turned superbly on the edge of the penalty area.

Coulthirst then slashed another effort wide of the target after being brilliantly teed up by a cross-field ball from Weston.

After that missed opportunity the game died down and the second half also started quietly until the visitors opened the scoring on the hour mark, with Francomb scoring an excellent effort.

The ball was rolled in to the midfielder’s path from a Sean Rigg free-kick and he brilliantly curled a 25 yard shot in to the top right hand corner of the net.

Blues boss Phil Brown responded to going behind by making a double substitution which saw David Worrall replacing John White at right-back and Lee Barnard coming on for Barry Corr in attack.

After the changes, the Shrimpers almost drew back level when their ex captain Adam Barrett saw his sliced clearance from Kevan Hurst’s left wing cross instinctively blocked by Shea.

Moments later, Kevan Hurst’s right wing cross was met by the head of Barnard whose close range effort was superbly tipped over the crossbar by Shea.

With Blues remaining on top, Weston then saw an effort cleared off the line by Barry Fuller but the Shrimpers were unable to conjure up a late equaliser despite there being six minutes of added on time.