A SOUTHEND United crazed couple included the Shrimpers’ clash with Walsall as part of their wedding at the weekend and even carried out their first dance on the Roots Hall pitch before kick-off.
But for much of the afternoon Blues appeared to again be the bridesmaid and never the bride in their ongoing push for the play-offs.
Two goals from returning midfielder Franck Moussa seemingly put the Saddlers on course for their first away win since Boxing Day.
However, what followed what arguably among the most dramatic, exciting and unexpected periods of play which has only been upstaged by a certain play-off final at Wembley in recent seasons.
Quite what caused the extreme turnaround remains open to debate but there can be no denying there was a far more positive and attacking feel to the Shrimpers’ play in the second half.
Early on, Blues seemed far more tentative and looked to be lacking attacking options which often left them incredibly outnumbered when looking to make inroads into the Walsall defence.
That said, Nile Ranger wasted a golden chance to break the deadlock when he headed over the crossbar from close range.
And if that opportunity had been taken then the contest could ultimately have been far more comfortable for Southend.
As it turned however, Walsall were able to work their way into a dominant position, thanks to the curse of facing one of your former players.
Franck Moussa opted to leave the Shrimpers in favour of a switch to the Saddlers in the summer but has, so far, struggled to make much of an impression.
The midfielder had played just 21 minutes of football since Christmas before getting an early call off the bench on his return to Roots Hall and responded with two goals in the space of seven minutes.
But, in Jason Demetriou, Blues also boast a former Walsall player in their ranks and his introduction – alongside Theo Robinson – just six minutes into the second half saw the match sway back in Southend’s favour.
A cleverly worked free-kick led to Ranger getting Blues back in the game with a well-taken header and that signalled the start of a sustained period of pressure which saw a whole host of chances before created.
The Shrimpers began to threaten from all areas, including set pieces, where all three of their match-winning strikers came from, including Anton Ferdinand’s equalising effort which came after Anthony Wordsworth’s free-kick had been cleared into his path.
The neatly taken volley was followed an exquisite free-kick from substitute Simon Cox which sparked celebrations and levels of noise rarely reached at Roots Hall.
The manner of the victory, which saw Southend fight back to win from 2-0 down for the first time since beating Hartlepool United in 2009, will significantly boost Blues’ belief as they strive to secure a top six finish.
But Saturday showed Southend are far more of a threat when on the front foot and that must be maintained if Phil Brown’s side are to end the campaign walking up the aisle at Wembley.