Southend strengthened their hopes of automatic promotion from League Two while weakening Oxford's chances of a play-off place.

The U's started well and Dean Morgan forced Cameron Belford into a smart save, with Jon-Paul Pittman lively.

But Ryan Hall fired the Shrimpers ahead with a 25-yard free-kick that flew past debutant keeper Connor Ripley.

Bilel Mohsni doubled the lead when he headed Peter Gilbert's cross into the bottom corner.

Southend are in fifth place, but lie just a point behind Crawley in third place heading into the final weekend.

Oxford, meanwhile, are in eighth place, three points behind in-form Crewe.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Southend United manager Paul Sturrock told BBC Essex:

"The fat lady still hasn't sung yet, so we go into the last game of the season with something to play for."

"I'm delighted with the performance. The work-rate and attitude of the players was unbelievable.

"Right through the second half, it was going to back to the walls, but the boys worked very hard. They put in a shift.

"Defensively we were very sound today another clean sheet, which we're delighted about."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (3)

Oxford United

  • 31 Ripley
  • 02 Batt
  • 05 Duberry Booked
  • 06 Wright Booked
  • 16 Whing (Montano - 75' )
  • 08 Heslop (Chapman - 46' )
  • 14 Hall
  • 26 Davis
  • 11 Pittman
  • 18 Morgan (Craddock - 57' )
  • 23 Rendell

Substitutes

  • 34 Crocombe
  • 17 Capaldi
  • 07 Chapman
  • 27 Montano
  • 29 Craddock

Southend United

  • 35 Belford
  • 02 Clohessy
  • 03 Gilbert
  • 06 Bilel
  • 12 Ferdinand
  • 15 Phillips Booked
  • 23 Barker
  • 04 Hall
  • 07 Grant
  • 08 Timlin
  • 09 Harris

Substitutes

  • 16 Prosser
  • 34 Hills
  • 14 Martin
  • 24 Benyon
  • 37 Eastwood
Ref: Collins
Att: 9,356

Match Stats

Shots

12 7

On target

5 4

Corners

5 1

Fouls

15 16

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:29 Full time

Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.

90:00 +3:03

Adam Chapman gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Anthony Grant. Chris Barker takes the indirect free kick.

90:00 +2:14

Adam Chapman takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Michael Timlin.

90:00 +1:28

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Adam Chapman.

89:18

Corner from right by-line taken by Ryan Hall.

83:55

Michael Duberry fouled by Bilel Mohsni, the ref awards a free kick. Adam Chapman produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.

83:17

The ball is sent over by Liam Davis, Ryan Hall makes a clearance. Inswinging corner taken by Adam Chapman from the right by-line, Mark Phillips manages to make a clearance.

82:36

Shot from long range by Anthony Grant misses to the left of the target.

80:26

Bilel Mohsni has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.

77:13

The ball is swung over by Liam Davis, Ryan Hall makes a clearance.

74:49 Substitution

Substitution (Oxford Utd) makes a substitution, with Cristian Montano coming on for Andrew Whing.

73:42

Unfair challenge on Peter Gilbert by Adam Chapman results in a free kick. Ryan Hall takes the free kick.

71:47

The assistant referee flags for offside against Neil Harris. Indirect free kick taken by Jake Wright.

70:26

Michael Timlin fouled by Michael Duberry, the ref awards a free kick. Peter Gilbert takes the free kick.

68:39

Jon-Paul Pittman is ruled offside. Cameron Belford takes the indirect free kick.

67:28

Neil Harris is ruled offside. Connor Ripley restarts play with the free kick.

66:15

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mark Phillips on Scott Rendell. Free kick taken by Adam Chapman.

64:31

The assistant referee signals for offside against Damian Batt. Cameron Belford takes the indirect free kick.

63:51

Peter Gilbert concedes a free kick for a foul on Scott Rendell. Free kick taken by Damian Batt.

63:16

Unfair challenge on Michael Timlin by Liam Davis results in a free kick. Ryan Hall takes the indirect free kick.

62:04

Outswinging corner taken by Adam Chapman from the right by-line.

60:14

Adam Chapman takes a outswinging corner to the near post, Michael Duberry takes a shot. Save by Cameron Belford.

59:23

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jake Wright by Kane Ferdinand. Connor Ripley restarts play with the free kick.

56:33 Substitution

Substitution Tom Craddock replaces Dean Morgan.

56:33

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Liam Davis by Bilel Mohsni. Jake Wright takes the free kick.

55:56

Neil Harris concedes a free kick for a foul on Jake Wright. Free kick taken by Connor Ripley.

55:18

Centre by Chris Barker. Shot by Adam Chapman from deep inside the penalty area misses wide to the left of the target.

53:58

The ball is delivered by Dean Morgan, save by Cameron Belford.

53:09

The offside flag is raised against Kane Ferdinand. Indirect free kick taken by Connor Ripley.

52:39

The ball is swung over by Ryan Hall, Dean Morgan manages to make a clearance.

51:57

Adam Chapman takes a shot. Save by Cameron Belford.

50:12

Anthony Grant fouled by Adam Chapman, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Cameron Belford.

46:04

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andrew Whing by Anthony Grant. Adam Chapman takes the free kick.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Simon Heslop leaves the field to be replaced by Adam Chapman.

45:00 +3:08 Half time

Half Time The match has reached half-time.

45:00 +2:21

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andrew Whing by Ryan Hall. Free kick taken by Connor Ripley.

45:00 +0:35

Damian Batt crosses the ball, Header on goal by Dean Morgan from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

42:00

Neil Harris takes a shot. Save by Connor Ripley.

38:48

Neil Harris takes a shot. Michael Duberry makes a clearance. Neil Harris produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.

38:23

Free kick awarded for a foul by Scott Rendell on Chris Barker. Free kick taken by Cameron Belford.

38:07

Foul by Kane Ferdinand on Andrew Whing, free kick awarded. Connor Ripley takes the free kick.

37:01

Effort from outside the penalty box by Asa Hall goes wide left of the target.

36:26

Bilel Mohsni challenges Scott Rendell unfairly and gives away a free kick. Liam Davis takes the free kick.

34:59

Scott Rendell challenges Cameron Belford unfairly and gives away a free kick. Cameron Belford takes the indirect free kick. Jon-Paul Pittman takes a shot. Save by Cameron Belford.

33:18

Corner taken right-footed by Simon Heslop to the near post, save by Cameron Belford.

32:01

Neil Harris fouled by Jake Wright, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Ryan Hall.

30:06

Peter Gilbert provided the assist for the goal.

30:06 Goal scored

Goal! - Bilel Mohsni - Oxford 0 - 2 Southend Bilel Mohsni grabs a headed goal from close range. Oxford Utd 0-2 Southend.

29:59

Centre by Peter Gilbert,

26:19

Michael Duberry gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Neil Harris. Peter Gilbert takes the free kick.

25:10

Foul by Bilel Mohsni on Simon Heslop, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by Damian Batt.

23:17

The free kick is delivered right-footed by Simon Heslop from left wing, save by Cameron Belford.

23:17 Booking

Booking The referee shows Mark Phillips a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

23:10

Scott Rendell fouled by Mark Phillips, the ref awards a free kick.

21:09

Foul by Kane Ferdinand on Asa Hall, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Connor Ripley.

18:41 Goal scored

Goal! - Ryan Hall - Oxford 0 - 1 Southend Ryan Hall finds the net with a shot from the free kick. Oxford Utd 0-1 Southend.

17:54 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Michael Duberry for unsporting behaviour.

17:42

Free kick awarded for a foul by Michael Duberry on Neil Harris.

16:32

Free kick crossed by Ryan Hall, save by Connor Ripley.

16:32 Booking

Booking The referee shows Jake Wright a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

16:14

Jake Wright challenges Anthony Grant unfairly and gives away a free kick.

15:39

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Timlin by Andrew Whing. Michael Timlin restarts play with the free kick.

14:11

Liam Davis sends in a cross.

12:49

Foul by Simon Heslop on Michael Timlin, free kick awarded. Ryan Hall takes the indirect free kick.

12:32

Dean Morgan takes a shot. Save by Cameron Belford.

11:24

Unfair challenge on Damian Batt by Ryan Hall results in a free kick. Simon Heslop takes the free kick, The ball is crossed by Michael Timlin, Bilel Mohsni makes a clearance.

10:32

Michael Timlin challenges Simon Heslop unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Damian Batt.

7:28

Asa Hall gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Anthony Grant. Cameron Belford restarts play with the free kick.

7:18

Simon Heslop takes a shot. Save by Cameron Belford.

5:52

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andrew Whing by Bilel Mohsni. Michael Duberry takes the indirect free kick.

5:29

Effort on goal by Asa Hall from just inside the area clears the bar.

5:08

The ball is crossed by Jon-Paul Pittman, Dean Morgan takes a shot. Save by Cameron Belford.

4:39

Scott Rendell has an effort at goal from outside the area which misses left.

1:11

The ball is delivered by Andrew Whing.

0:35

Unfair challenge on Kane Ferdinand by Simon Heslop results in a free kick. Sean Clohessy takes the indirect free kick.

0:00

The match has kicked off.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers