THREE first half goals saw Southend United slump to a shocking 3-1 defeat against Blackpool at Roots Hall this afternoon.

The Shrimpers conceded a trio of soft goals inside the opening 37 minutes.

And Kevin Bond’s side were unable to work their way back into the game despite Blackpool’s James Husband being shown a straight red card on the hour mark.

Simon Cox did claim a late consolation for the Shrimpers but by then the damage had been done, meaning the hosts started the season with back to back defeats.

In contrast, Blackpool have triumphed in their opening two fixtures.

And Simon Grayson’s side took the lead after just nine minutes when Liam Ridgewell’s header from Jordan Thompson’s right wing free-kick looped up into the air in the blustery conditions.

Shrimpers shot-stopper Mark Oxley came off his line to deal with the danger but only succeeded in punching the ball into the back of Harry Lennon before the ball rebounded into the North Bank net.

The visitors remained on top and doubled their lead just three minutes when Sullay Kaikai slid the ball into the path of Nathan Delfouneso who lifted the ball over the advancing Oxley to score.

Blackpool came close to making it 3-0 when Armand Gnanduillet’s close range effort was superbly saved by Oxley low down to his right hand side.

But the visitors were not to be denied for long and extended their lead in the 37th minute with Delfouneso firing home from close range following a goalmouth scramble from Thompson’s right wing corner.

Blues responded by making their first change of the afternoon in the 52nd minute with Layton Ndukwu making his debut in place of Ridgewell.

However, Blackpool stayed on top and came close to making it 4-0 when Sullay Kaikai’s deflected 20 yard shot was tipped onto the right post by Oxley.

The Shrimpers soon made a second alteration with Theo Robinson replacing Stephen Humphrys but Blackpool threatened next with Gnanduillet heading over from close range.

But Blackpool’s hopes of further goals were hit on the hour mark when Husband was shown a straight red card for an awful challenge on Southend right-back Elvis Bwomono.

The Shrimpers got a goal back in the 75th minute when Isaac Hutchinson’s left wing corner picked out Lennon whose header was nodded home by Cox, although the final touch may have come off a Blackpool defender.

Blues then nearly netted a second goal when Mark Milligan’s long range effort was tipped over by Jak Alnwick before Robinson headed wide from close range right at the death after Kelman's header from Ndukwu's cross had been kept out.