Match ends, Forest Green Rovers 1, Southend United 3.
Nathan Ferguson scored a spectacular long-range goal to help Southend rise off the foot of the League Two table and deny Forest Green the chance to go top, with a surprise 3-1 away victory.
Shaun Hobson's sumptuous first-half volley and Tim Dieng's strike after the break was capped by Ferguson's 70th minute thunderbolt.
Jamille Matt pulled a goal back for Rovers four minutes from time on a chastening night for Mark Cooper's side.
Resurgent Southend opened the scoring after 20 minutes - defender Hobson thumping in a volley beyond a static Lewis Thomas after the ball dropped to him on the edge of the box from a partially cleared Kyle Taylor free-kick.
Rovers had to wait until the 45th minute to muster their first shot in anger - Odin Bailey inducing a gloved response from Mark Oxley.
Southend made it 2-0 when Simeon Akinola drove into the box for Dieng to curl home in the 55th minute.
And Ferguson's searing shot from distance which flew into the net was the pick of the goals with 20 minutes to go.
Matt's 12th goal of the season from a Jake Young cross with four minutes to go was scant reward for Rovers as Southend moved one point above the drop zone.
Match report supplied by PA Media.
- 5StokesSubstituted forRichardsonat 45'minutes
- 15Moore-TaylorBooked at 35mins
- 7HutchinsonSubstituted forCollinsat 45'minutes
- 20WhitehouseSubstituted forWagstaffat 71'minutesBooked at 82mins
- 17BaileySubstituted forYoungat 84'minutes
- 23DavisonSubstituted forMattat 45'minutes
- 2BwomonoBooked at 67mins
- 5HobsonBooked at 51mins
- 28TaylorSubstituted forMcCormackat 71'minutes
- 44FergusonSubstituted forDemetriouat 88'minutes
- 17Hackett-FairchildSubstituted forHolmesat 87'minutes
- 18AcquahSubstituted forNathaniel-Georgeat 80'minutes
- 9AkinolaSubstituted forGoodshipat 88'minutes
- Lee Swabey
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Forest Green Rovers 1, Southend United 3.
Corner, Southend United. Conceded by Lewis Thomas.
Attempt saved. Jason Demetriou (Southend United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ashley Nathaniel-George.
Ebou Adams (Forest Green Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Alan McCormack (Southend United).
Offside, Forest Green Rovers. Baily Cargill tries a through ball, but Jamille Matt is caught offside.
Jake Young (Forest Green Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Timothee Dieng (Southend United).
Substitution, Southend United. Brandon Goodship replaces Simeon Akinola.
Substitution, Southend United. Jason Demetriou replaces Nathan Ferguson.
Substitution, Southend United. Ricky Holmes replaces Reeco Hackett-Fairchild.
Foul by Scott Wagstaff (Forest Green Rovers).
John White (Southend United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Forest Green Rovers 1, Southend United 3. Jamille Matt (Forest Green Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jake Young with a cross.
Substitution, Forest Green Rovers. Jake Young replaces Odin Bailey.
Foul by Ebou Adams (Forest Green Rovers).
Timothee Dieng (Southend United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Offside, Southend United. Nathan Ferguson tries a through ball, but Simeon Akinola is caught offside.
Scott Wagstaff (Forest Green Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.