SOUTHEND United moved to within a point of the play-offs with a well-deserved 2-0 win at AFC Fylde this afternoon.

Second half headers from Danny Waldron and Harry Cardwell made it 15 matches unbeaten for the Shrimpers.

And Kevin Maher’s in-form side are still in with an outside chance of securing a top seven finish.

Blues are a point behind Halifax Town but have a played two games more than the Shaymen while eighth placed Aldershot Town, who are level on points with Southend also have two games in hand.

But the Shrimpers have real momentum behind them and started on the front foot on their first ever visit to Mill Farm.

The visitors wasted a golden chance to break the deadlock after just 12 minutes when a deflected left wing cross from Nathan Ralph found Waldron at the near post, only for the forward to head wide of the right upright.

Moments later, the Shrimpers wasted an even clearer chance to score as a long ball forward from Collin Andeng Ndi sent Waldron clean through on goal.

The Blues striker rounded the advancing Fylde goalkeeper Theo Richardson but his low left-footed shot was cleared off the line by Adam Long who got back well to stop the ball hitting the back of the net.

In reply, Fylde skipper Nick Haughton sent a long range shot straight at Andeng Ndi before the home-side came within a whisker of taking the lead as a well-struck left footed shot from Owen Evans struck the inside of the left post before rolling to safety.

However, Blues were soon back on top and, with 27 minutes on the clock, another long clearance from Andeng Ndi again set Waldon free on goal.

But Richardson sprinted back to stop the striker’s trickling shot going into the back of the net with an outstretched right arm.

Waldron then headed a left wing cross from James Morton wide of the target before Cav Miley’s well-taken volley was ruled out after Harry Cardwell had been adjudged to have fouled Richardson while contesting for the ball in the air.

Richardson then did well to tip a well-struck Oli Coker shot wide of the right post before a fine right wing cross from Gus Scott-Morrris fizzed across the face of goal in the opening action of the second half.

But Blues finally broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute, with Waldron atoning for his earlier misses by scoring his third goal of the season.

A well-worked move, started by a short Ollie Kensdale free-kick, ended with Harry Taylor advancing down the right hand side and delivering a fine cross Waldron headed home from six yards.

Waldron then stabbed Morton’s cross-shot wide of the right post before he shot past the left upright after good approach play from Jack Bridge.

However, the Shrimpers stayed on top and doubled their lead in the 71st minute when another good move ended with Miley delivering an accurate left wing cross into the path of Cardwell who scored with a firm header.

Cardwell’s goal was his 18th of the season and had enough power to hit the back of the net despite Richardson getting a hand on the ball.

Morton then curled 20 yard shot just wide of the left post before Blues boss Kevin Maher made a double change in the 77th minute, with Callum Powell making his first appearance since recovering from a knee injury he suffered in September.

Powell replaced Cardwell in attack while the other alteration saw Marcus Dackers take the place of Waldron alongside him.

Fylde threatened next with Jon Ustabasi having a well struck shot parried wide of the left post by Andeng Ndi as the Shrimpers made sure of the clean sheet along with another comfortable win.