TEN MAN Southend United sunk to a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat to Burton Albion at Roots Hall tonight, with Jacques Maghoma bagging an injury time winner for the Brewers.
Blues had midfielder John Spicer sent off after just 11 minutes for a poorly timed challenge on former Southend striker Matt Paterson.
But Paul Sturrock’s side seemed to have done enough to secure a share of the spoils until Maghoma drilled home a 30 yard free-kick in the first minute of added on time.
The goal was cruel on Southend who battled hard in front of just 4,150 fans, their smallest home league crowd since hosting Kidderminster Harriers in September 2004.
However, those in attendance saw Blues make the worse possible start, with Spicer being dismissed.
The midfielder miscontrolled a pass from Michael Timlin and in attempting to win the ball back he jumped in to a poorly timed challenge on Paterson which resulted in him being dismissed.
Southend reorganised with Freddy Eastwood dropping in to a midfield role before the officials also rotated with an injured Stroud limping off to be replaced by Carl Brooks.
After that, both sides struggled to create chances but Eastwood registered the game’s first shot on target in the 33rd minute when his deflected left foot shot from 25 yards was easily saved by Albion goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson.
Moments later, Blues were pushing forward again when Sean Clohessy’s right wing cross fell to David Martin at the far post but, after cutting back inside, the winger could only fire over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area.
Southend continued to attack at the start of the second half with Britt Assombalonga heading Clohessy’s right wing cross just wide of the left post.
Kevan Hurst then also nodded past the same upright after good work from Martin down the left hand side but Burton hit back in the 67th minute with substitute Adi Yussuff sending a powerful volley just inches over the crossbar.
With Albion still pushing for a late winner, Yussuff headed over Jaques Maghoma’s left wing cross from close range but the visitors were not to be denied a late winner and it came during the first minute of stoppage time when Timlin was penalised for a foul on Maghoma.
The Burton winger then brushed himself down before drilling a low free-kick from fully 30 yards in to the bottom left hand corner of the net to extend their unbeaten record at Roots Hall.