SOUTHEND United find themselves back in League Two this season, but Blues have some happy memories from their time in the fourth tier of English football.

Following relegation from League One last term – which was curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic – the Shrimpers have struggled to rediscover the form which saw them win promotion from the division in 2005.

Thousands of supporters made the trip across the border to the Welsh capital of Cardiff as Blues went head-to-head with Lincoln City in the play-off final on May 28.

Managed by legend Steve Tilson, the Shrimpers headed to the Millennium Stadium looking to bring some silverware back to south Essex.


Chant - Southend United fans cheer on their team against Lincoln City at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium

However, the Shrimpers were made to wait before they could triumph in front of 19,653 fans.

Neither side could break the deadlock inside 90 minutes, so extra time was needed to separate the two promotion hunters.

It was in the additional 30 minutes where Blues grabbed the decisive goals to ensure it was the blue half of the stadium which was jubilant.


On target - Southend United’s Duncan Jupp scores against Lincoln City to give Blues a two-goal advantage

Freddy Eastwood, who has gone down in Shrimpers folklore thanks to his impressive goalscoring record at Roots Hall, put Tilson’s charges in the driving seat with 105 minutes on the clock.

Blues ensured there would be no way back for Lincoln as right-back Duncan Jupp doubled their advantage just five minutes later.


Made the difference - Blues goalscorers Duncan Jupp (left) and Freddy Eastwood celebrate after guiding the club into the third tier of English football

The final whistle, which was blown by now-Premier League referee Martin Atkinson, sparked wild celebrations on the pitch and captain Kevin Maher proudly held the League Two play-off trophy aloft.

The victory came in an extremely successful period for Blues, with Tilson guiding the club to back-to-back promotions by securing the League One title 12 months later.

Southend also enjoyed League Two play-off joy against Wycombe Wanderers, following a penalty shoot-out, in 2015.


That winning feeling - Southend United captain Kevin Maher celebrates after the referee blows the final whistle

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Scroll down to see more photos of the memorable day.


Controlled - Blues defender Spencer Prior holds off Lincoln City’s Simon Yeo at the Millennium Stadium



Backing their team - Shrimpers supporters celebrate after seeing their side win promotion to League One


Proud moment - Blues captain Kevin Maher holds the League Two play-off trophy aloft


We are going up - Southend United’s players celebrate after defeating Lincoln City in the League Two play-off final


Back of the net - Freddy Eastwood celebrates with his team-mates after scoring in the play-off final


Sportsmanship - the Shrimpers celebrate while Duncan Jupp consoles Lincoln City’s Ben Futcher