SOUTHEND United are facing an uphill struggle to stay in League One after suffering a 2-0 defeat to fellow strugglers Wycombe Wanderers at Roots Hall this afternoon.

Two goals in the space of four second half minutes by Chairboys striker Adebayo Akinfenwa saw the Shrimpers’ winless streak extend to 14 matches.

And Kevin Bond’s side are now 22nd in the standings, two points from safety, with just four games to go.

Wycombe – who came into the clash on the back of five successive defeats - had the game’s first effort on target with Akinfenwa’s tame header being easily saved by Blues goalkeeper Nathan Bishop.

Moments later, Timothee Dieng headed Sam Hart’s deep left wing cross over the crossbar before Blues were forced into making their first change of the afternoon after just 32 minutes as skipper Jason Demetriou limped off with what appeared to be a knee problem.

Demetriou was replaced at right-back by Elvis Bwomono before the Shrimpers threatened next with Sam Mantom cutting in off the right flank and sending a low, left footed shot straight at Wycombe goalkeeper Ryan Allsop.

But, immediately after the break, Wycombe were back on the front foot and screamed for a penalty when Scott Kashket went down in the box following a challenge from Dieng.

However, referee David Coote opted to book Kashket for diving, much to the frustration of the Chairboys before Blues made a second change on the hour mark with Stephen McLaughlin replacing Michael Kightly.

Eight minutes later, the Shrimpers made a third substitution with Emile Acquah coming on for Stephen Humphrys in attack.

But within 60 seconds it was Wycombe who took the lead with Akinfenwa on target for the seventh time this season.

The powerful forward was found by a low, left wing cross from Kashket and netted with a well-taken effort at the far post.

Three minutes later, Akinfenwa was celebrating again as he latched onto Michael Harriman’s diagonal ball into the box and netted with a looping header into the far corner of the net to leave the Shrimpers in deep danger towards the foot of the table.