THEO Robinson fired Southend United to a 1-0 win against Reading’s under-23 side with his first goal of the season tonight.

The Shrimpers striker - who had not scored since April - netted just past the half hour mark at Roots Hall.

And Robinson’s smartly taken effort was enough to secure a fourth successive victory for Blues.

Southend - who were beaten 2-1 at Gillingham in their previous Trophy group game - came close to taking an early lead when right-back Elvis Bwomono saw a low 20 yard shot smartly saved down to his right hand side by visiting goalkeeper George Legg.

With play quickly switching back to the other end of the field, Shrimpers goalkeeper Mark Oxley then did well to win the ball from Reading striker Sam Smith when the Royals striker seemed set to round the advancing shot-stopper.

After surviving the scare, Blues hit back with Marc-Antoine Fortune sending a low 20 yard shot straight at Legg.

But the Shrimpers were not to be denied for long and they opened the scoring in the 31st minute with Robinson on target.

The successful move started down the right flank with Dru Yearwood playing a delightful pass into the path of Jermaine McGlashan, who sprinted into the penalty area before unleashing a deflected effort which flew into the path of Robinson to fire home a first time finish at the far post from six yards out.

With Blues looking to double their lead, McGlashan soon fired wide of the right post from a narrow angle after being teed up by Fortune, before Robinson saw another effort blocked on the stroke of half-time.

After the break, Reading striker Smith fired over from the edge of the penalty area before the Shrimpers threatened next with Bwomono – who was one of nine changes to Phil Brown’s starting line-up – shooting over from 20 yards.

Reading replied with Jake Sheppard having a low shot smartly smothered by Oxley before Blues’ goalscorer Robinson threatened again with a left-footed snapshot which was gathered by Legg.

Robinson then made way for teenage striker Amadou Ba in the 67th minute before Nico Cotton replaced Jack Bridge for his first team debut on the left flank.

However, in between the two changes Reading came close to equalising as Josh Barrett saw a well-struck shot tipped wide of the right post by Oxley.

Barrett then stabbed a clearer opportunity wide of the right post from close range after Oxley had saved well from Smith and the wasted opportunity meant the Shrimpers - who brought on Stephen McLaughlin in added on time - secured a narrow triumph in front of a crowd of just 1,148.