Southend manager Steve Tilson marked his sixth anniversary in charge at Roots Hall with a 2-1 win against high-flying MK Dons.
The Shrimpers leading scorer Lee Barnard grabbed the winner from the penalty spot deep into stoppage-time as the game looked to be heading for a draw.
Referee Darren Deadman, who booked eight players, awarded the spot-kick after the Shrimpers striker had his shirt pulled by Dean Lewington as a free-kick was delivered into the area.
Dons went in front in the 14th minute when Luke Chadwick charged forward and teed up Sam Baldock, who fired home a low shot from 14 yards.
Franck Moussa had earlier forced a fine one-handed save from Willy Gueret and the Dons keeper pulled off another stop to repel Jean-Francois Christophe`s header in the 22nd minute.
Southend did pull level two minutes later when Christophe nodded a Johnny Herd free-kick across goal and Aaron Wilbraham inadvertently headed the ball into his own net.
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