JOE Pigott sent Southend United into deeper trouble towards the foot League One table on his return to Roots Hall this afternoon.

The striker, who worked his way into Blues’ folklore when scoring a last gasp equaliser against Wycombe Wanderers in the 2015 League Two play-off final, fired AFC Wimbledon to a 1-0 win in the blustery conditions.

And Pigott’s 13th goal of the season made it 10 games without a victory for the out of sort Shrimpers are now only above the relegation zone on goal difference.

Blues had been looking to bounce back from Tuesday night’s 4-1 drubbing at Scunthorpe United and created the first chance of the afternoon with Harry Bunn sending an early effort wide of the left post wide of the left post from 20 yards.

The Dons soon replied with the recalled Mark Oxley gathering Harry Lennon’s header from Steve Seddon’s left wing cross when for, a split second, an own goal seemed on the cards.

However, the relieved Shrimpers soon hit back with Michael Turner having a looping header from Stephen McLaughlin’s left wing corner impressively tipped over by Dons goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

But, moments later, the visitors hit back with former Southend midfielder Anthony Wordsworth having a long range free-kick parried out by Oxley before the relieved shot-stopper gathered the rebound among a cluster of players.

After surviving the scare the Shrimpers replied with Sam Hart having a low, long range effort smothered by Ramsdale before the visitors started the second half strongly.

However, Blues stood firm and came close to opening the scoring just before the hour mark when Harry Bunn played in McLaughlin in the right hand side of the penalty area, only for the winger to see his effort partially blocked by Tony Sibbick before Terell Thomas completed the clearance.

Bunn then saw a bouncing volley held by Dons goalkeeper Ramsdale before the visitors hit back to open the scoring in the 67th minute, with Pigott on target.

The ex Shrimpers loanee capatilised on hesitant defending between Michael Turner and Oxley and bravely won the ball before gleefully firing home his 13th goal of the season.

Blues boss Chris Powell responded by making a double change nine minutes later with Michael Kightly and Charlie Kelman entering the action in place of McLaughlin and Harry Lennon.

Kelman was immediately involved as he sent a half-volleyed effort straight at Ramsdale and that was as close as the Shrimpers came to scoring a late leveller.