Dean Bowditch's late winner sealed the points as Yeovil battled to a 1-0 victory over 10-man Southend.

Francis Laurent spurned an excellent chance to give the home side the lead when he put Simon Francis's cross wide from six yards.

Southend keeper Steve Mildenhall saved sharply from Scott Murray and Jonathan Obika just before the half-hour mark, when the visitors' task was made harder as debutant Sean Morrison was dismissed for a professional foul on Obika.

And the Shrimps' resistance was broken when substitute Bowditch converted Murray's cross from close range with 14 minutes remaining.

The Glovers had created chance after chance in the first half but constantly failed to find the finishing touch to some sound build-up play.

Yeovil should have taken the lead after 32 minutes when Andy Walsh raced clear, but his shot rose uncontrollably over the bar.

Southend remained in the game largely thanks to the brilliance of former Yeovil goalkeeper Mildenhall, who made a number of fine saves.

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