A CALAMATIOUS mistake from Southend United goalkeeper Mark Oxley handed Bolton Wanderers a 1-0 win at Roots Hall this afternoon.

A poor game seemed set to end without a goal until Oxley somehow spilled a high ball in to the six yard box, enabling substitute Shaun Miller to fire home from close range just eight minutes from time.

The defeat kept Blues just a point above the relegation zone and it was Bolton who started on top with Oladapo Afolayan sending a 20 yard shot wide of the right post.

Moments later, Eoin Doyle fired wide from close range after Oxley had parried out a powerful effort from Marcus Maddison.

In reply, Blues winger Ashley Nathaniel-George fired wide of the left post from long range before Bolton hit back with Doyle firing wide of the target from the edge of the penalty area.

After surviving the scare, the Shrimpers replied with Elvis Bwomono heading a dangerous right-wing cross from Reeco Hackett-Fairchild over the crossbar.

But Bolton threatened before the break with Oxley doing well to gather Ricardo Almeida Santos’ effort from Maddison’s left wing free-kick and, moments later, the visitors came even closer to going in front with Doyle seeing his effort cleared off the line by Bwomono.

With the visitors remaining on top, Maddison then fired inches over from long range The second half was slow to get going with neither side looking likely to score.

In a bid to improve going forward, Blues their first change of the afternoon in the 67th minute with Ricky Holmes coming on for his debut in place of Hackett-Fairchild.

The Shrimpers made two more substitutions in the 79th minute with Emile Acquah and Sam Hart entering the action in place of Nathan Ferguson and Tom Clifford.

However, just three minutes later it was Bolton who bagged the only goal of the game as Oxley poorly failed to keep hold of a high ball in the box and Miller gleefully fired home to secure a third successive win for the visitors.