SOUTHEND United fought back to beat table-topping Chesterfield 2-1 at Roots Hall this afternoon – despite only being able to select two substitutes.

Blues tried to get the game at Roots Hall postponed due to their lack of players.

But a crowd of more than 8,000 supporters saw the Shrimpers come from a goal down to record a remarkable success thanks to a penalty from Jack Bridge and a bizarre own goal from Darren Oldaker.

After a solid start to the game, Blues came close to taking the lead when a volley from Bridge bounced into the ground before being impressively pushed to safety by Chesterfield goalkeeper Harry Tyrer.

In reply, Liam Mandeville fizzed a dangerous left wing cross across the face of goal before play switched back to the other end of the field with Cardwell seeing his left footed snap-shot pushed to safety by Tyrer.

Moments later, Nathan Ralph – who was making his 100th appearance for Blues – volleyed wide of the left post before the league leaders hit back to open the scoring in 27th minute, with Will Grigg on target for the 10th time this season.

The Shrimpers were angered by what appeared to be a clear offside not being given in the build up before a right wing cross from Michael Jacobs was tapped home by Will Grigg from close range.

Ryan Colclough then saw a low shot well saved by David Martin down to his right hand side before Blues replied with Wes Fonguck sending a dangerous low cross across the penalty area in the closing action of the first half.

After the break, Cardwell’s looping header from Wes Fonguck’s left wing cross was easily held by Tyrer before Blues drew back level on the hour mark, with Bridge on target from the penalty spot.

Referee Stephen Parkinson awarded the spot-kick after Harry Taylor was brought down in the box by Branden Horton.

And Bridge made no mistake from 12 yards, calmly sending his fourth goal of the season into the centre of the South Stand net.

However, the Shrimpers did not stop there and remarkably went in front in the 63rd minute, following a calamitous error from Tyrer.

A left wing cross from Fonguck deflected off Oldaker and somehow squirmed under the body of the embarrassed goalkeeper and into the back of the net via the inside of the right post.

The shell-shocked Spireites hit back with Grigg sending a powerful shot wide of the right post when well placed before Tom Naylor saw a low shot smothered by Martin down to his left hand side.

Blues responded by making their first change of the game in the 82nd minute with Dan Mooney replacing Jack Wood up top.

A second alteration soon followed with Brooklyn Kabongolo taking the place of Wes Fonguck in a bid to strengthen the Shrimpers at the back.

Chesterfield did push for a late leveller but found it hard to break through Blues’ defence with Grigg firing over late on as the Shrimpers held to record a stunning victory.