A Southend United footballer has been fined after he admitted assaulting a police officer.

Anthony Wordsworth was on the club's Christmas night out with the rest of the team and staff in Cardiff.

It was held there following the Blues 3-0 loss to Bristol Rovers at Memorial Stadium, on December 9. A disturbance at the Cardiff hotel where they were staying in Cardiff and police were called to the scene to restore order.

Wordsworth, who lives in Enfield, was later arrested for assaulting a police officer - as well as using threatening and abusive language.

He appeared at Cardiff Magistrates court on Monday where he pleaded guilty before the court.

The 29-year-old midfielder, who has played for Southend United since July 2015, was sentenced to 80 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £200 in compensation to the officer as well as £170 in fines and costs.

Wordsworth, who began his career at Colchester United in 2007 before a stint at Ipswich Town, has scored 19 goals in 79 games for the Blues.

Southend United Chairman Ron Martin was not impressed - and hopes Wordsworth has learnt his lesson.

said: "The club will never condone bad behaviour.

"In this instance it was I suspect handbags at dawn - literally.

"The players were on their Christmas Party, the one night of the year when they, not unreasonably, let their hair down.

"However their boisterousness meant the police were called to quieten the celebration.

"Anthony Wordsworth has hopefully learnt his lesson with hundreds of pounds in court costs, some unpaid work and a club fine too."

The news has not gone down well with fans amid the club's poor run of form.

The Blues have struggled over the Christmas period, only managing two wins since the start of December.

Lifelong fan Mark Cundy, from Westcliff, said: "Clearly resorting to violence cannot be condoned. Since it appears no serious damage to property or person happened, the punishment appears to be proportionate.

"I think the worst aspect is that he assaulted a police officer who would have been clearly identified by uniform, so it is not as if he was defending himself against an unknown assailant.

"I'm slow to judgement in these cases, as all too often those in the public eye are targeted and we don't always know what provocation was there before matters escalated.

"All told, I hope he has learnt his lesson and avoids those situations in the future."

Shrimpers fan Andrew Sykes took to Twitter to express his dissatisfaction with the timing of Wordsworth's conviction.

He said: "Does this squad actually have any discipline? "Probably explains the poor season. Time to jettison the underperformers and the ill-disciplined."

Fellow fan Robert Jeffrey wrote: "Partying after a 3-0 defeat? "Instead of partying, why don't they have extra training sessions?"

Southend United, who currently sit 17th in League One, will be hoping to turn their fortunes around when they visit struggling side Northampton, ranked five places lower, this Saturday afternoon.