Southend run riot in first half to hammer Gillingham

Southend scored four times in the first 40 minutes to seal an emphatic 4-0 victory over Gillingham.Michael Turner, Theo Robinson and Michael Kightly were all on-target before 20 minutes had been played while Stephen McLaughlin added a fourth before Gills striker Lee Martin saw red on the stroke of half-time.The Shrimpers were looking to respond to their own 4-0 humbling at Plymouth on Friday and made a fantastic start as Turner headed home in the eighth minute from McLaughlin's left-wing corner.Three minutes later, Southend doubled their lead when Robinson lashed a volley from inside the area beyond Gillingham goalkeeper Tomas Holy, who had moments earlier kept out Ben Coker's effort.Southend went further ahead in the 18th minute when Kightly headed home after a stunning strike from McLaughlin had struck the underside of the crossbar.McLaughlin also worked his way onto the scoresheet five minutes before half-time, heading home a right-wing corner from Kightly.Gillingham's misery was further compounded when Martin was given his marching orders for a poor challenge on Robinson just before the interval. The visitors managed to avoid conceding in the second half but the damage was already done as they crashed to a third successive defeat in Sky Bet League One.