SOUTHEND United’s struggles continue with a 2-0 defeat at Tranmere Rovers this afternoon.

The bottom of the table Shrimpers rarely threatened after going behind at Prenton Park and have now gone 11 games without a win.

Despite the disappointment, Blues began brightly with a well-worked move resulting in James Olayinka bursting into the right hand side of the box and having a well struck shot parried away by Tranmere goalkeeper Scott Davies.

Moments later, the Shrimpers screamed for a penalty when Jason Demetriou went down in the box following a right wing corner from Tom Clifford but referee Andy Woolmer opted to wave play on.

Blues stayed on top and forced Tranmere boss Michael Jackson to make two changes on the half hour mark with both Sam Smith and Calum MacDonald entering the action.

And, just seconds after the alterations, the hosts went in front with Peter Clarke heading home against his former side.

The experienced centre-back was picked out by a right wing free-kick from Liam Feeney and guided an excellent header into the top left hand corner of the net.

Blues looked to hit back after the break with Tom Clifford having a low effort blocked after good approach play from Ashley Nathaniel-George.

But, with 52 minutes on the clock, Tranmere doubled their lead in fortuitous circumstances when a long range effort from Vaughan took was deflected into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

In reply, Shrimpers midfielder Kyle Taylor burst into the box before firing over when well placed but the relieved hosts soon threatened again with Vaughan heading over from 12 yards.

Blues boss Mark Molesley responded by making a double change in the 69th minute with Brandon Goodship and Kazaiah Sterling replacing Emile Acquah and Olayinka.

But it was Tranmere who still threatened next with Vaughan having a header impressively pushed wide of the right post by Oxley.

With play soon switching back to the other end of the field, Blues had more penalty shouts waved away after Sterling had gone to ground in the box.

Tranmere soon came close to adding a third with Kieron Morris having a well struck shot saved by Oxley who then also appeared to divert the rebound from Vaughan wide of the right post despite a goal-kick being awarded.

The Shrimpers made a third change late on with Matt Rush replacing Terrell Egbri but by then the damage had already been done as the visitors’ winless start to the season continued.