MICHAEL Timlin’s red card for violent conduct marred Southend United’s 2-1 win at Braintree Town this afternoon.

Timlin was dismissed by referee Rob Whitton in the 59th minute after appearing to head-butt opposing midfielder Scott Shulton.

But the Shrimpers were still able to triumph thanks to goals from Simon Cox and Marc-Antoine Fortune.

Blues had previously threatened early on when the hard-working midfielder Dru Yearwood was denied by the legs of Braintree goalkeeper Nathan McDonald when clean through on goa.

Moments later, Cox sent a long range chip wide of the left post before the Iron hit back with Karl Oliyide shooting inches wide of the right upright.

However, just seconds after surviving the scare, the Shrimpers broke the deadlock in the 26th minute with Cox heading home a deep right wing cross from John White.

Cox soon came close to netting again when he sent a looping header on to the top of the crossbar but Braintree soon replied and equalised in the 41st minute when Ben Wyatt’s chipped left wing cross was headed home by Oliyide.

But the Shrimpers regained the lead just three minutes later when Fortune curled a low, 20 yard shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Blues introduced Michael Kightly and Jason Demetriou at the start of the second half and the two immediately combined with Kightly heading the full-back’s right wing cross wide of the right post.

However, moments later, the game exploded into life when Timlin reacted angrily to Scott Shulton’s late challenge and was red carded after appearing to head-butt his opposing midfielder.

After the furore died down, Blues boss Phil Brown made a double change with trialist midfielder Liam Walker replacing Fortune and Theo Robinson coming on for Cox.

Shortly after the alterations, Kightly curled a 25 yard free-kick just wide of the left post before Brown four substitutions in quick succession with Harry Kyprianou, Dan Matsuzaka, Jack Bridge and Michael Klass all entering the action.

Amid the changes and, with an extra man, Braintree threatened but Dernell Wynter was unable to take advantage as he wasted a trio of clear cut chances before Blues threatened at the death with Klass and Walker both being denied by McDonald.

Southend United: Oxley, White (Kyprianou 72), Turner (Matsuzaka 68), Ferdinand (Demetriou 46), Hendrie (Cotton 79), McGlashan (Kightly 46), Yearwood (Bridge 71), Timlin, McLaughlin (Klass 68), Cox (Robinson 61), Fortune (Walker 61)