SOUTHEND United scored four times in extra time to triumph 6-2 in tonight’s FA Cup first round replay at Crawley Town.

The Shrimpers had let slip a two goal lead in normal time as Crawley fought back to force an additional 30 minutes.

But it was Blues who raced clear in extra time to triumph in the FA Cup for the first time since January 2014.

After a quiet start to the game, Southend broke the deadlock with a well-worked goal in the 17th minute when Harry Bunn’s left wing cross found Simon Cox whose close range effort deflected in off Crawley defender Josh Doherty.

Moments later, Cox headed a left wing cross from Stephen McLaughlin straight at Crawley goalkeeper Glenn Morris but Blues remained on top and doubled their lead in the 31st minute, with Bunn on target.

The winger reacted sharply after Cox’s close range header from McLaughlin’s right wing was impressively saved by Morris and forced the ball over the line from close range.

With Blues pushing for a third, Cox then fired into the side netting after being teed up by McLaughlin’s cut back from the right flank in the closing action of the first half.

Crawley – who came from a goal down in the first meeting between the two teams to force the replay – made a change at the break with Ashley Nathaniel George replacing George Francomb.

But it was the Shrimpers who stayed on top and, in the 51st minute, the visitors wasted a good chance to extend their lead when Theo Robinson teed up Cox only for the striker to have his shot well saved by Morris.

Bunn then curled a 20 yard shot wide of the right post before Robinson sent a well struck effort straight at Robinson.

And those missed opportunities increased in significance in the 55th minute when Crawley halved Blues’ lead as Ollie Palmer netted from 12 yards after Shrimpers centre-back Taylor Moore had flicked on Lewis Young’s right wing cross.

Southend attempted to restore a two goal cushion with McLaughlin having a well-struck shot smothered by Morris at the second attempt and, in the 64th minute, Blues wasted a clearer opportunity to score with Robinson slicing a 12 yard shot wide of the right post after a pass from Dieng.

Four minutes after surviving the scare, Crawley drew back level with Palmer bagging his second goal of the night.

The striker turned neatly on the edge of the box and then beat the advancing Oxley with a controlled finish.

The shell shocked Blues soon replied with Harry Kyprianou firing wide of the left post from 20 yards but neither side could find a late winner as the tie went to extra time.

However, the Shrimpers started the additional 30 minute period brightly and regained the lead in the 92nd minute with Cox firing home a deflected 12 yard shot after substitute Sam Mantom had rolled the ball back into his path.

Five minutes later, Blues extended their lead even further with John White volleying home a right wing free-kick from Mantom to make it 4-2.

But the Shrimpers were still not finished and, in the 106th minute, Chris Powell’s side made it 5-2 with Mantom netting his first goal for the club with a neatly controlled low finish after Shawn McCoulsky had been denied.

Things soon got even better for Blues with Michael Kightly teeing up McLaughlin to net with an impressive left footed shot which flew into the top left hand corner of the net before Jason Demetriou saw an powerful effort headed off the line.

The Shrimpers – who pick up £36,000 for the victory – will now host Barnsley in the second round.