ON the weekend of the London Marathon, Theo Robinson ran MK Dons ragged to fire Southend United to a memorable 4-0 win.

Robinson had never netted a hat-trick in the previous 392 appearances of his senior career while Blues had gone six years and 320 games without anyone scoring three goals in the same game.

But both of those long waits memorably came to an end at the weekend as Robinson took centre stage in another impressive home triumph for the Shrimpers.

The 29-year-old forward scored twice in the first half before completing his treble in the second.

And, in doing so, Robinson proved his worth after enduring an incredibly frustrating season.

The striker made just his fourth League start of the campaign at the weekend having previously been used from the bench at best.

Robinson had been given rare opportunities to impress in cup competitions before falling out of the matchday squad altogether and almost leaving on transfer deadline day.

Colchester United and Lincoln City were both keen on signing the frontman on loan but a move could not be agreed and Robinson remained at Roots Hall.

However, the forward still found first team opportunities hard to come by and failed to make the matchday squad in five of Chris Powell’s first eight games in charge.

But, after scoring four times in an under 23 game – ironically against MK Dons – and also impressing Powell in training, Robinson eventually worked his way back into favour.

And on Saturday the striker looked a completely different player from the one who seemed short of confidence when called upon at the start of the season.

In truth, the improvement is likely to be down to Robinson being given more than the odd 15 minutes here and there and also being used in his preferred striking position rather than out wide.

That resulted in his match-winning role at the weekend and home is certainly where the heart is for the Shrimpers this weekend.

Saturday’s success was the second 4-0 win at Roots Hall in succession and made it six victories out of eight at their own ground since Powell came to the club.

But, away from home, it is a completely different story and Blues have gone six games without a win on the road.

In fact, just seven days before seeing off a very poor MK Dons side, the Shrimpers had produced a lethargic display while losing at Oxford United.

And that inconsistency pretty much sums up the season.

As a result, the biggest challenge currently facing Shrimpers boss Powell and his staff is how to replicate the home form on their travels.

And they will quickly have an opportunity to try and make that happen with two away games in quick succession this week.

Blues head to Oldham Athletic for a rearranged encounter tomorrow night before also travelling to Bradford City on Saturday for the final trip of the season.

But the Shrimpers could well be making the long trips with a shortage of defenders.

Anton Ferdinand limped off during the second half of Saturday’s success and, judging by the way he left the pitch, the experienced centre-back seems unlikely to be available for either of the long journeys.

With Ben Coker, Michael Turner and Rob Kiernan also out injured and Stephen Hendrie out on loan at Motherwell, Powell has few options at the back.

However, Elvis Bwomono did well in an unfamiliar left-back role against MK Dons and Ferdinand’s injury could well open the door for Harry Kyprianou to return.

The youngster shone when called upon towards the start of the season before a thigh injury curtailed his progress.

But, with his fitness restored, Kyprianou will now be keen to recapture that kind of form as Blues bid to build on Saturday’s satisfying win and finally improve their results on the road.