SOUTHEND United boosted their survival hopes with a vital 3-2 victory against Burton Albion at Roots Hall this afternoon.

Goals from Sam Mantom, Harry Bunn and Timothee Dieng saw the Shrimpers secure their first win since January.

And, ahead of this afternoon’s game, Blues now sit 18th in the League One standings.

Southend opened the scoring with a well-worked goal in the 18th minute when a superb right wing cross from Simon Cox found an on-rushing Mantom who, on the slide, powered the ball into the roof of the net from close range.

In reply, the Brewers’ Ben Fox saw a 20 yard shot smartly smothered by Blues goalkeeper Mark Oxley before the hosts hit back with Harry Bunn firing over from the edge of the penalty area.

The Shrimpers remained in front until half-time when boss Kevin Bond made his first change of the afternoon with Luke Hyam replacing Rob Kiernan in the centre of the park.

And, just three minutes into the second half, Southend doubled their lead with Bunn on target.

The goal stemmed from Mantom’s left wing corner which saw Cox had a well struck shot saved by Stephen Bywater before he latched onto the rebound and squared a pass into the path of Bunn who tapped home from close range for his sixth goal of the season.

However, Burton got a goal back on the hour mark when Reece Hutchinson’s deep left wing cross found John Brayford who netted with a neatly controlled volley at the far post.

Blues responded by making a second change in the 67th minute with Dieng replacing Dru Yearwood and, shortly after the change, the Shrimpers came close to scoring with Hyam having a well struck left footed shot well saved by Bywater.

Bond then made a third substitution with Michael Kightly taking the place of Bunn and the winger was immediately involved as his long range free-kick was fumbled wide of the right post by Bywater.

However, Blues were not to denied for long and, in the 77th minute, the hosts extended their lead when Kightly’s free-kick from the right hand side found Dieng at the far post and the Frenchman netted with a firm downward header.

Burton replied with Akins having a powerful header impressively palmed to safety by Oxley but the Brewers got back into the game in the 86th minute when Marcus Harness darted into the left hand side of the penalty area and netted with a low, left footed shot.

The Shrimpers hit back with Kightly cutting in from the left hand side and firing wide of the far post but, despite five minutes of agonising injury time, the hosts held on for a vital victory to bring to an end a run of 15 games without a win.