FIRST half goals from Rhys Murphy and Sam Dalby secured Southend United a 2-1 win at Altrincham this afternoon.

An early effort from Murphy put Blues in front before Dalby doubled their lead 11 minutes before the break.

Altrincham hit back in the second half with Ryan Colclough seeing a penalty saved before Dan Mooney swept the ball home.

But Blues stood firm to secure their first away win since beating King’s Lynn on the opening day of the season.

The Shrimpers began brightly and opened the scoring after just one minute when a deep left wing cross from Nathan Ralph was collected on the right hand side of the penalty area by Louis Walsh.

The winger immediately drilled a low cross into the danger zone and saw it deflected into the back of the net, with Murphy claiming the final touch for his eighth goal of the season.

Moments later, the Shrimpers came close to doubling their lead when a fine right wing cross from Walsh found Murphy whose effort bobbled wide of the right post.

Murphy screamed for a corner following his effort, insisting the defender beat him to the ball but it looked to be a decent chance for Blues’ top scorer.

However, the Shrimpers did double their lead in the 34th minute, with the recalled Darby on target.

The striker collected an intelligent left wing free-kick from Zak Brunt and neatly teed himself up before scoring with a low, left footed shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Altrincham replied just before the break with Colclough seeing his 20 yard free-kick parried away by Blues goalkeeper Steve Arnold.

In a bid to get back in the game, the home-side made two changes at the break with Jake Moult and Dan Mooney both entering the action.

Connor Hampson soon dragged a low, left footed shot across the face of goal before Blues replied with Murphy firing wide of the left post from 20 yards.

However, Altrincham were soon back on top and wasted a golden opportunity to get back in the game when referee Adam Hercezg pointed to the spot after adjudging Nathan Ferguson to have handled a right wing corner from Colclough.

But Colclough was unable to make the most of the opportunity as his 12 yard shot was impressively pushed wide of the left post by Arnold.

Altrincham were not to be denied for long though and halved Blues’ lead in the 68th minute with Mooney cutting in from the right flank and scoring with a low left footed shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net.

In a bid to stop Altrincham’s spell of pressure, Blues boss Kevin Maher made his first change of the afternoon in the 75th minute with Harry Phillips coming on to replace Walsh.

A second change followed eight minutes later with Matt Rush replacing Murphy in attack as Blues stood firm to secure a welcome away win.