SOUTHEND United slumped to an eighth defeat in nine games as Fleetwood Town secured a 2-1 triumph at Roots Hall.

The setback saw the Shrimpers slip to 18th in the League One table, just two points above the relegation zone to heap more pressure on the shoulders of the Shrimpers under-fire manager Phil Brown.

An uninspiring encounter was slow to get started but, with 12 minutes on the clock, Fleetwood came close to taking the lead when Ashley Hunter’s left wing free-kick was headed against the crossbar by Devante Cole.

After surviving the scare, Southend were forced into making a change in the 24th minute when Michael Turner limped off and was replaced by Stephen Hendrie.

After the break, Town left-back Amari’I saw a deflected 20 yard shot fly wide of the left post before the Shrimpers replied with Stephen McLaughlin having a powerful shot smothered by visiting goalkeeper Chris Neal.

But, after surviving the scare, Fleetwood broke the deadlock in the 57th minute, following a mistake from Anton Ferdinand.

The Blues skipper gave the ball away cheaply to Ashley Hunter who rolled a pass into the path of Paddy Madden.

The substitute striker brushed aside Ferdinand before teeing up Toumani Diagouraga who lifted the ball over the advancing Mark Oxley to open the scoring.

The visitors remained on top and doubled their lead in the 62nd minute when Kyle Dempsey played a through ball into the path of Madden who showed good strength before netting with a well-taken shot.

The Shrimpers responded by bringing on Norman Wabo in place of Simon Cox and the youngster almost netted when his swerving shot from 20 yards was parried away by Neal.

But, with 86 minutes on the clock, Blues got back into the game when a half cleared McLaughlin corner fell to Kightly whose deflected 20 yard shot looped into the left hand side of the net.

However, Southend were unable to conjure up a late equaliser as their struggles continued.