SOUTHEND United’s winless start to the season stretched to a ninth game after Cheltenham Town recorded a comfortable 2-0 triumph at Roots Hall this afternoon.

The Shrimpers went into the game on the back of two successive draws in the League.

But Mark Molesley’s side never looked like troubling the visitors as they slumped to the foot of the League Two table.

Cheltenham started strongly and Blues goalkeeper Mark Oxley did well to push away an early free-kick from Chris Clements.

But the visitors remained on top and opened the scoring in the 10th minute, with Liam Sercombe scoring from the spot The penalty was awarded by referee James Oldham after Kyle Taylor was adjudged to have brought down George Lloyd in the box.

And Sercombe make no mistake as his 12 yard shot, to the right hand side, squirmed under the body of Oxley and into the back of the South Stand net.

Blues replied with Brandon Goodship failing control the ball in front of goal when picked out by Jason Demetriou’s cross before Goodship also sent a defected 20 yard shot inches past the right post.

Cheltenham soon replied with Andy Williams firing over when well placed in the box before the visitors threatened at the start of the second half with Shrimpers defender Harry Lennon somehow clearing Andy Williams’ low cross shot over his own goal.

Moments later, Sercombe saw a powerful effort parried away by Oxley before the Robins finally doubled their lead in the 52nd minute when Chris Hussey’s left wing cross picked out Lloyd who sent a glancing header into the bottom right hand corner of the net from close range.

Blues responded by making a double change four minutes later as Terrell Egbri and Ashley Nathaniel-George entered the action in place of Emile Acquah and Taylor.

A third change followed with Kenny Coker replacing Goodship but the Shrimpers never looked like scoring as their struggles continued.