SOUTHEND United slumped to their fifth defeat in succession, losing 3-2 to Burton Albion at Roots Hall.

A bizarre effort Sam Mantom brought Blues level just before the break.

But the Brewers netted twice in the second half to pile more misery on Sol Campbell’s relegation threatened side despite a late own goal from the visitors' John-Joe O'Toole. 

Burton took just four minutes to take the lead as Colin Daniels’ left wing cross found Lucas Akins at the far post and he fired home an assured volley via the inside of the left upright.

Blues hit back with Mantom heading Elvis Bwomono’s right wing cross just past the left post before Stephen McLaughlin’s header from Mantom’s right-wing free-kick was gathered by Kieran O’Hara at the second attempt.

With 27 minutes on the clock, the Shrimpers came even closer to drawing back level when Mantom fired against the left post and Charlie Kelman’s follow up effort was blocked Conor Shaughnessy, the brother of Blues defender Joe.

However, the hosts replied and equalised in bizarre fashion in the 29th minute when Stephen McLaughlin’s left wing cross picked out the on-rushing Mantom whose effort flew up into the end before somehow being punched into the back of the net by Burton goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara.

But Burton replied to regain the lead four minutes into the second half when Joe Powell’s driven cross struck Shaughnessy before being bundled over the goal-line by Ryan Edwards.

A deflected long-range effort from Powell flew inches over the crossbar before the Shrimpers hit back with McLaughlin having a 25 yard free-kick pushed to safety by O’Hara.

In a further bid to get back into the game, Blues made their first change of the afternoon in the 59th minute with Eren Kinali replacing Terrell Egbri on the right flank.

The Shrimpers made their second substitution in the 68th minute with Sam Barratt taking the place of Mantom and the hosts momentarily threatened with Elvis Bwomono firing over from long range.

But, having survived the scare, Burton replied and extended their lead in the 74th minute following a mistake from Blues defender Miles Mitchell-Nelson.

The youngster rolled a pass straight into the path of Aaron Broadhead when looking to play out from the back, enabling Broadhead to tee up the in-form Jamie Murphy to score with an assured finish.

Broadhead and Murphy were then both denied by Blues’ debutant goalkeeper Patrik Gunnarsson before the home-side replied with Mark Milligan seeing a well struck shot saved O’Hara after McLaughlin’s left wing corner had been deflected into his path.

With time running out, Burton sub Joe Sbarra had an effort blocked on the line by Shaughnessy before Blues rallied late on.

The Shrimpers got back into the game when Brewers defender John Joe-O’Toole deflected a long throw from Sam Barratt into his own goal.

But Blues were unable to conjure up a dramatic late leveller.