Southend United kept alive their hopes of featuring in the League 1 end of season Play Offs with a hard working victory over a Sheffield United side which must now surely be facing the prospect of another season of football in the third tier.
Both sides went into the clash knowing that nothing less than a win would be acceptable if they hope to keep their seasons alive but it was the home side who emerged victorious from an entertaining battle in front of the Sky Sports television cameras at Roots Hall.
Southend United took the lead just before the half hour when Tyrone Barnett stabbed a loose ball into the net from close range but the lead lasted for just six minutes as Blades midfielder Dean Hammond popped up unmarked at the back post to head the ball into the net from a well taken free kick to send the sides into the break level.
The match was keenly contested by both sides throughout but it was The Shrimpers who sealed the three points will some prolific finishing in front of goal in the second half. The experienced David Worrall’s driven strike put the home side into a 2-1 lead on the hour before Jack Payne secured the victory with a confident finish in injury time just moments after Sheffield United striker Che Adams had rattled a post at the other end.
The result leaves Southend United six points adrift of the Play Off places with seven matches remaining while Sheffield United remain in the bottom half of the League 1 table.