SOUTHEND United’s first Roots Hall outing in 174 days ended in defeat, with Championship club Millwall securing a convincing 3-0 victory.

Former Blues midfielder Ryan Leonard volleyed the Lions in front in fine fashion.

And further strikes from Ben Thompson and Troy Parrott saw the Shrimpers slip to their first defeat of pre-season.

Millwall broke the deadlock after just six minutes when a long ball forward from Jake Cooper was flicked on by Matt Smith, enabling Leonard to slam an impressive 12 yard volley into the roof of the net.

Blues replied with Terrell Egbri sending a left footed shot wide of the left post before the hosts were forced into a change in the 20th minute when centre-back Harry Lennon went off injured and was replaced by Miles-Mitchell Nelson.

Lennon was making just his second appearance since breaking his leg back in December.

But, shortly after the change, the Lions came close to doubling their lead when Thompson’s effort was impressively palmed to safety by Southend goalkeeper Mark Oxley.

In reply, Blues striker Stephen Humphrys saw a long range shot smothered by Millwall custodian Bartosz Bialkowski.

But, with 35 minutes on the clock, the visitors doubled their lead with another excellent effort as Jiri Skalak’s right wing cross was spectacularly volleyed home by Thompson.

The Lions soon came close to making it 3-0 with Leonard playing in Cooper whose low, left footed shot flew just wide of the right post in the closing action of the first half.

After the break, Blues left-back Richard Taylor sent a low 20 yard shot inches wide of the right upright before the Lions extended their lead in the 57th minute with on loan Tottenham Hotspur striker Parrott beating the advancing Oxley with a clinical finish from close range.

Parrot then struck the inside of the right post with another clear cut chance before the Shrimpers made eight outfield changes in the 77th minute with trialist midfielder Jack Bridge among those entering the action.

But neither scored looked like scoring late on.

Southend United: Oxley, Bwomono (Howard 77), White (Osimeh 77), Lennon (Mitchell-Nelson 20), Taylor, Egbri (Kinali 77), Phillips (Bridge 77), Klass (Gard 77), Green (Hutchinson 77), Humphrys (Acquah 77), Goodship (Kelman 77)