SOUTHEND United ended the National League season with a 2-1 defeat against Rochdale at Roots Hall this afternoon.

An injury-time effort from Devante Rodney secured victory for the visitors after Cian Hayes had earlier cancelled out Gus Scott-Morriss’ opener for the Shrimpers.

And the defeat – which ended Blues unbeaten run of 15 games – meant Kevin Maher’s finished the campaign ninth in the table, six points below the play-off places.

Blues started brightly and opened the scoring after just eight minutes with Scott-Morriss on target for the eighth time this season.

A free flowing move – which went from one end of the pitch to the other -ended with Jack Bridge cutting back inside from the left hand side and delivering a brilliant cross Scott-Morriss volleyed home from close range.

Moments later, Shrimpers striker Danny Waldron latched onto a loose defensive pass before firing over the crossbar from 20 yards.

Bridge then curled an effort over the North Bank net from long range before the visitors replied with Hayes sending a deflected effort wide of the left post.

Southend were soon back on top with Harry Cardwell sending a powerful shot straight at Rochdale goalkeeper Tiernan Brooks after the Shrimpers striker had cut in from the left hand side.

However, Rochdale hit back with Hayes sending a well-struck effort against the underside of the crossbar before he equalised just before the break following a mistake from Blues defender Ollie Kensdale.

The Shrimpers centre-back cheaply conceded possession and that enabled Hayes to go clean through on goal and round the advancing Collin Andeng Ndi before tapping home.

Thirteen minutes after half-time, Blues made a double change with Noor Husin and Wes Fonguck entering the action in place of Oli Coker and James Morton.

Shortly after the alterations, Rochdale’s Kairo Mitchell curled a shot wide of the right post from 20 yards before Blues replied with Fonguck wasting two chances in quick succession.

The midfielder delayed shooting with his first effort before seeing his eventual effort blocked.

But, just seconds later, he wasted an even clearer chance to score as he completely scuffed his shot when left unmarked eight yards out.

Blues soon made another change with Callum Powell taking the place of Waldron 12 minutes from time.

Moments later, Husin fired over the crossbar from 20 yards as the game became somewhat flat.

However, Rochdale snatched it late on as Rodney raced clean through on goal before scoring with a low shot past Andeng Ndi as the Shrimpers’ season ended in defeat.