THREE goals inside the opening 23 minutes helped Southend United see off struggling Boreham Wood 4-2 at Roots Hall this afternoon.

Gus Scott-Morriss, James Morton and Jack Bridge all scored early on to put the Shrimpers in control.

Cameron Coxe got a goal back for the visitors at the start of the second half but a penalty from Bridge sealed all three points for the Shrimpers despite Matt Robinson scoring Wood's second.

Southend started brightly and opened the scoring after just seven minutes when Danny Waldron darted down the left hand side before delivering an inviting cross Scott-Morriss did superbly well to convert with an excellent effort via the underside of the crossbar.

Blues remained on top and doubled their lead in the 16th minute after more fine approach play from Waldron.

The recalled Shrimpers striker won the ball off Wood goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore before delivering a brilliant right wing cross Morton headed home from close range for his first Blues goal.

However, the Shrimpers’ stunning start did not stop there and Kevin Maher’s side made it 3-0 in the 23rd minute with Bridge scoring his seventh goal of the season.

The left wing-back latched onto the ball 12 yards from goal and scored with an angled effort into the left hand side of the South Stand net.

Oli Coker came close to making it 4-0 just before the break with a 20 yard shot which flew just inches over the crossbar.

But it was the visitors who got a goal back at the start of the second half with Coxe scoring with a deflected left foot shot from just inside the penalty area.

The visitors continued to enjoy more of the ball but Blues stood firm before making it 4-1 on the hour mark, with Bridge on target from the penalty spot.

Referee Alan Dale pointed to the spot after adjudging Jamal Fyfield to have brought down Waldron in the area.

And Bridge made the most of the opportunity as he confidently fired his 12 yard shot high into the left hand side of the net.

However, just three minutes later, Boreham Wood got back in the game as a left wing corner from Erico Sousa found the head of Matt Robinson who nodded home despite the best efforts of Scott-Morriss on the goal-line.

The visitors soon came close to making it 4-3 with Balanta seeing a close range header parried away by Andeng Ndi before the Shrimpers replied with Ollie Kensdale sending Morton’s right wing corner over the crossbar from close range.

Blues then made two changes in quick succession with Wes Fonguck replacing Coker in midfield and Marcus Dackers taking the place of Waldron in attack.

Dackers was twice denied by Ashmore late on while Harry Cardwell also scuffed a shot from close range.

But four goals were enough to secure all three points for the Shrimpers who are now unbeaten in 13 games.