SOUTHEND United’s away day struggles continued with a 2-0 defeat at Oxford United this afternoon.

The setback made it six games in succession without a win on the road for the Shrimpers.

And to add Blues’ frustrations both Ben Coker and Michael Turner were forced to go off injured inside the opening half an hour.

Oxford – who went into the game without a with under new boss Karl Robinson - started on the front foot and came extremely close to taking the lead when Ryan Ledson’s header from James Henry’s right wing cross was adjudged not to have crossed the goal-line.

However, the U’s were not to be frustrated for long as they broke the deadlock in the sixth minute of the match with Henry drilling a low 16 yard shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net.

Blues soon replied with Dru Yearwood shooting inches wide of the left post from the edge of the penalty area.

But Shrimpers boss Chris Powell was then forced into making two changes in quick succession as Coker and Turner both limped off injured and were replaced in the back four by Elvis Bwomono and Anton Ferdinand.

After the enforced reshuffle, the Shrimpers wasted a golden chance to equalise in the 34th minute when the ball broke for Anthony Wordsworth just eight yards from goal.

But the midfielder scuffed his shot and it was easily saved by Oxford goalkeeper Simon Eastwood.

After surviving the scare, the hosts soon hit back with Henry volleying over from 12 yards before Oxford doubled their lead deep in stoppage time when Ricardinho’s left wing cross deflected off John White and flew between the legs of Mark Oxley.

A shell shocked Southend replied with Yearwood smashing a 25 yard shot against the inside of the right post and, at the start of the second half, Simon Cox saw a close range effort smartly saved by Eastwood.

Blues boss Powell responded by a making third change in the 65th minute as Shayon Harrison replaced Michael Kightly.

But it was still Oxford who threatened next with Oxley doing well to keep out Rob Dickie’s header before John Mousinho volleyed the rebound against the outside of the right post.

After that the remainder of the match petered out – aside from Cox volleying over late on - as the Shrimpers’ run of not scoring in the second half of an away game stretched to 18 outings.