Phil Brown’s Southend United side eased past 10-man Chesterfield to boost their chances of getting a Sky Bet League One play-off spot.

The Seasiders went ahead after 15 minutes when Will Atkinson was fouled in the box by Thorsten Stuckmann, Simon Cox stepped up and directed his spot-kick beyond the goalkeeper.

The Spireites were given an even more difficult job when Dion Donohue was given his marching orders for a high challenge on Jason Demetriou just before the break.

Phil Brown’s side took full control with their numerical advantage and grabbed three goals in the second half.

Anthony Wordsworth added the Blues’ second by nesting a John White cross into the bottom corner.

Cox increased the visitors’ lead further as Nile Ranger’s deflected shot fell to the Blues’ top-scorer with a gaping goal.

Marc-Antoine Fortune sealed the sweet victory, moments after coming off the bench, by sliding the ball between Stuckmann’s legs.

Speaking after the match, Blues boss Phil Brown spoke of his delight with the comfortable victory.

“It was just another win. We were here to do a job. I would have taken 1-0 but I’m happy with 4-0.

“We’ll patch the guys up with a big game on Monday, I’m calling for a full house! We need two 10,000 crowds!”

Meanwhile, striker Simon Cox added his view as the Blues head into the final furlong of this season.

“4-0 looks really good from our point of view and we’ll take that into Monday.

“We’ve got three more cup finals coming up!

“We’ve got something to play for. Whilst we do then we’ll keep fighting.”

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