SOUTHEND United started their pre-season schedule with a 5-0 win at Great Wakering Rovers this afternoon.

Summer signings Sam Barratt and Tom Hopper were both among the goals for Blues while Theo Robinson, Simon Cox and Michael Kightly were also on target.

And Shrimpers boss Chris Powell was pleased to see his side’s opening showing in the sun.

“Everyone got 45 minutes which was nice,” said Powell.

“They hit the bar in the first minute and I thought here we go it’s going to be a long season but we settled down after that.

“We’re going to be rusty and we will be for a few weeks but that’s what pre-season is all about.

“Sam Barratt got a wonder goal and Tom Hopper scored too which was good.

“It was also good for Theo, Coxy and Michael Kightly to score as well.

“We tried a new system in the first half too and we may need to try it during the season and these are the times to try things out.

“It was also great for us to renew links with Great Wakering.

“I’ve known Iain a long time and it’s nice for them to get a few fans here and for us to get in the groove too.”

Wakering came close to taking an early lead when Callum Ibe smashed an effort against the crossbar after just two minutes.

However, the Shrimpers soon got back on top with Timothee Dieng firing inches wide from long range before the visitors broke the deadlock in the 31st minute with Robinson on target.

The striker ended last season with four goals in his last four games and hit the back of the net at Burroughs Park with an assured left footed shot.

Blues then doubled their lead in fine fashion just before the break when Barratt sent a brilliant left footed volley high into the right hand side of the net.

Southend made 11 changes at the break and the new look side made it 3-0 in the 61st minute when a deep left wing cross from Kightly was headed down by Hopper which enabled Cox to net with an assured half volley.

Five minutes later Blues were back among the goals when Kightly teed up Cox whose effort deflected into the path of Hopper to head home.

And the Shrimpers completed the scoring two minutes from time with Kightly tapping home from close range.

Southend United first half: Oxley, Bwomono, White, Kyprianou, Hendrie, Demetriou, Mantom, Dieng, Barratt, Robinson, Ba.

Second half: Bishop, Mundele, Turner, Lennon, Coker, McLaughlin, Klass, Batlokwa (Clifford 75), Kightly, Cox, Hopper