Southend stunned by Port Vale
A first-half blitz helped Port Vale to their first win in four games as they saw off Sky Bet League One play-off contenders Southend 3-1.
Defender Ben Coker put through his own net after efforts from Carl Dickinson and Michael O’Connor set the Valiants on their way against a side that started the day five points ahead of them.
Southend rallied too late, with Sam McQueen pulling one back in stoppage time before David Mooney missed a penalty, as the Shrimpers suffered a third defeat in four games and missed the chance to move into the top six.
Phil Brown’s side had excelled in beating leaders Burton on Monday night but they found themselves almost out of contention by the break at Vale Park after some feeble defending.
O’Connor’s 18th-minute corner flew through to Vale captain Dickinson, who was free to force the ball over the line.
O’Connor doubled the lead in the 38th minute when he seized possession on the edge of the box and rammed a right-footed strike into the corner.
Southend’s misery increased when Michael Timlin’s deflected effort crashed off a post.
And they were left with a mountain to climb when Ben Coker inadvertently deflected O’Connor’s free-kick into the corner of the net five minutes before the interval.
Cian Bolger almost added to the own goal tally after the break with only goalkeeper Dan Bentley’s reactions saving further embarrassment.
In a final flurry, McQueen tapped in before Ryan McGivern tripped Anthony Wordsworth in the area, but Mooney fired the resulting penalty off the crossbar.