Gillingham avenged last week's last gasp defeat at Roots Hall with a resounding win at krbs Priestfield...
Mark Stimson handed a debut to new loan signing Febian Brandy, while Chris Palmer returned at left back in place of John Nutter.
In a cagey opening to the match Southend drew the games first save direct from a free kick after James Walker had been fouled by Gowling. Simon Francis took the kick, 20 yards from goal but his effort was a comfortable height for Royce to gather.
On 14 minutes the visitors were almost gifted a goal as Fry's wayward back pass sent Walker through on goal but his initial shot was palmed away from goal by Royce at full stretch. Freedman followed up with a header but nodded wide of the far post.
Soon after Gillingham were awarded a penatly when Brandy was bundled over in the box, Jackson took the spot kick only to see Mildenhall make the save low to his right side.
The Gills made amends in the 25th minute from a well worked move involving new boy Brandy, Curtis Weston played a neat one two with the Manchester United forward which split the Shrimpers defence allowing Weston to tuck into the far corner.
Within moments the hosts had doubled their advantage as Chris Palmer crossed from the left for Febian Brandy to mark his debut with a neat finish into the far corner
Southend went close through Walker and Laurent in the latter stages of the half but never seriously tested Royce while Brandy had another low effort pushed to safety by Mildenhall.
The visitors began the second half brightly but continued to struggle in front of goal with Simon Royce having little to do between the sticks.
On the hour mark Referee Shoebridge angered home supporters by turning down what appeared to be a blatant penalty appeal when Simeon Jackson was pushed down in the Southend area.
Home fans anger was shortlived though as Mark Bentley delivered the third goal seconds later. Chris Palmer collected a throw on from Barcham before sending a looping cross to the far post where Bentley headed home off the inside of the post.
Fifteen minutes from time Southend spurned a lifeline when a goalmouth scramble found Dougie Freedman unmarked at the back post with an open goal to aim for. Amazingly the experienced marksmen placed his finish wide of the near post much to the amusement of the home support.
Attendance: 4605 (816 away)
Gillingham: Simon Royce, Barry Fuller, Josh Gowling, Matt Fry, Chris Palmer, Mark Bentley, Curtis Weston, Staurt Lewis (Kevin Maher 61), Andy Barcham (John Nutter 63), Febian Brandy (Mark McCammon 71), Simeon Jackson.
Subs not used: Dennis Oli, Alan Julian, Luke Rooney, Jack Payne.
Southend United: Steve Mildenhall, Simon Francis, Jean Francois-Christophe, Adam Barrett, Anthony Grant, James Walker (Kyle Asante 83), Franck Moussa, Dougie Freedman, Johnny Herd (Damian Scannell 31), Stuart O'Keefe, Francis Laurent (Julian Okai 89).
Subs not used: Ian Joyce.