SOUTHEND United slipped to a fourth successive defeat tonight as in-form Gillingham recorded a 1-0 win at a wet Roots Hall.

For the third game in succession, a young Shrimpers side shut out their opponents until the second half.

But Connor Ogilvie’s well-taken header piled meant the League One clash went the way of the form guide.

After a quiet start to the game, Blues’ defender Harry Kyprianou sent a half volley over the crossbar from 25 yards.

Kyprianou was making his first start since suffering a serious Achilles injury in November 2018 and was one of three changes made to the Shrimpers side.

Goalkeeper Harry Seaden was handed his debut between the sticks while Stephen McLaughlin featured further forward and it was the Irishman who sent a long range free-kick wide of the right post in the 26th minute.

Four minutes later, McLaughlin saw another 30 yard free-kick smothered by visiting goalkeeper Jack Bonham before Elvis Bwomono charged forward and sent a low effort from the edge of the penalty area straight at Bonham.

At the start of the second half the Gills hit back and wasted a good chance to break the deadlock when Connor Ogilvie headed Tom O’Connor’s right wing corner wide of the right post from close range.

After surviving the scare, Blues replied and came close to scoring themselves when Charlie Kelman cut in off from the left hand side and saw his low shot well saved by Bonham down his left.

In a bid to make the breakthrough, Gills made their second change of the night in the 62nd minute as Oliver Lee, a summer transfer target for the Shrimpers, came on for Matthew Willock.

And, five minutes later, Gills took the lead when Jordan Graham advanced down the right flank and delivered a fine cross which found the head of Ogilvie who got in ahead of Seaden to nod home from close range.

Ogilvie was involved in last controversy at Roots Hall last season when his late effort was adjudged to have not crossed the line.

But there was no denying the left-back this time around.

Blues replied by making their first change of the night in the 75th minute as the fit-again Joe Shaughnessy replaced Kyprianou for his first appearance since suffering a knee injury in November.

Shaughnessy lined up in the centre of the park but the Shrimpers found it tough to create goalscoring chances as they failed to score for the third game in succession.

Blues attempted to get back into the game with their second change in the 85th minute as Matt Rush took the place of Terrell Egbri.

And Gillingham, who have still not lost in the League since November, were forced to survive a late scare when Rush burst through, only to send his effort wide of the left post when an equaliser looked likely.