SOUTHEND United’s struggles continued with a 2-0 defeat at play-off pushing Peterborough United this afternoon.

The setback extended the Shrimpers’ winless streak to 11 matches and kept them 20th in the League One standings, above the drop zone on goal difference.

Blues rarely threatened at London Road and failed to register a single shot on target during another disappointing display which enabled Peterborough to dictate proceedings fright from the start.

Subsequently, Posh came within a whisker of opening the scoring early on when Ivan Toney’s header was tipped onto the crossbar by Mark Oxley before Ben White’s follow up effort was blocked on the line by Elvis Bwomono.

And, as the ball was delivered back into the box by Marcus Maddison, Toney’s header was superbly kept out by Oxley.

Moments later, Joe Ward headed Maddison’s right wing cross wide of the right post and, with 22 minutes of the clock, Toney sent a half volleyed effort over the crossbar after being teed up by Lee Tomlin.

With Posh remaining on top, Maddison then curled an effort wide of the left post but, four minutes before the break, the hosts made the break through, with Maddison firing a swerving 35 yard free-kick into the bottom left hand corner of the net from a central position.

Peterborough soon came close to adding a second with Louis Reed firing wide of the right post from 20 yards before Toney shot over from a good position in the closing action of the first half.

Blues boss Chris Powell made a change at the break with Harry Bunn replacing Charlie Kelman.

But it was Posh who were still on top at the start of the second period with Oxley doing well to deny Tomlin before Toney’s follow up effort was ruled out for offside.

In reply, Bunn dragged a low shot wide of the left post before Peterborough doubled their lead in the 58th minute, from another Maddison free-kick.

This time the winger’s long range shot was parried out by Oxley, enabling Ben White to head home the rebound from close range.

The Shrimpers responded by making a second change in the 71st minute as Emile Acquah was handed his first team debut in attack as he replaced a limping Simon Cox.

A third change soon followed with Isaac Hutchinson replacing Michael Kightly but by then the damage had been done as Blues’ woeful run of results continued.