Manager Lee Clark named the same outfield players that started the game at Blackpool on Tuesday evening – the only change for Bury saw keeper Joe Murphy back between the sticks following a knee injury, with Leo Fasan dropping back down to the Shakers bench.
Bury, wearing their normal home colours, were called into action at the back within a minute of the game starting. A floated ball into the box from Kightly saw returning keeper, Joe Murphy stretching and twisting, to palm the ball out for a corner. Moments later, a long throw from Leonard brought a similar action from the Shaker's custodian, though this time Murphy had to tip the ball over the bar.
Bury won their first corner on two minutes following a deflected Maguire cross. The delivery was initially flicked on by Edwards and eventually floated back into the box where Tom Aldred got on the end of the cross to loop a header at goal, though his effort lacked any pace and was easily caught by the Southend keeper.
A Bury 8th minute free kick, following a foul on Maguire, brought an excellent save from keeper Oxeley. Maguire took the free kick and curled a stunning shot at goal that the keeper managed to palm away for a Bury corner. Maguire’s subsequent corner again met the head of Aldred, though this time he failed to test the keeper with the ball flying wide of the post.
A series f Bury corner’s on 14 minutes ended when the home side suddenly burst away with the ball, though the ball into the Bury box was sadly lacking for the home side, and allowed Aldred to clear. Within five minutes, the Shakers had another chance when Smith and Maguire linked up well to feed the ball through the Southend defence for Beckford, but an offside flag killed the move as the Shakers striker pulled his foot back to shoot on goal.
The best chance of the game came with a great cross-field diagonal ball from Maguire that released Harry Bunn. The former Huddersfield player charged forward at goal with the Southend defence chasing hard. As Bunn got into the box, he pulled the foot back for the shot, but Michael Timlin slid into to stab the ball away for another Shaker's corner.
A long range shot from Demetriou on 28 minutes brought a moment of hope from the home side, but Murphy watched the effort all the way and dived at his near post to hold the ball. His long punt up the field found Beckford in space in the corner of the park, but his attempted one-two with Callum Reilly failed and allowed the home side to clear.
Another glorious chance fell to Bury on 32 minutes. A clever touch from Smith saw Maguire burst through the Southend defence. From the edge of the box, his attempted lob was superbly stopped by keeper Mark Oxeley, who had seen the danger and narrowed the gap by racing off his line. Moments later and another chance for Bury, with Beckford, Bunn and Maguire involved with some great football. The gloated ball into the box found Smith, who perhaps had more time that he realised, and headed the ball wildly wide of the post.
Halftime duly arrived with no further chances and both sides went in for the break goalless.
Bury started the second half brightly with Beckford, Smith, Bunn and Beckford all involved. The final ball at goal from Beckford saw Oxeley again collect with some ease. Moments later, a ball over the top from Maguire saw Beckford chasing the ball, but as in the first half, Oxeley was again quick off his line to smother the ball.
A Callum Riley deep corner on 56 minutes saw the ball catch in the high wind, and Smith was unable to get a clean header on the ball and put his effort over the bar. Moments later Tom Aldred was on hand twice in the space of a minute with two excellent blocks to deny the home side inside the Shakers box.
Rohan Ince and Jay O’Shea replaced Chris Maguire and Josh Laurent on 60 minutes. Within seconds O’Shea was called into action to lay the ball off across the box to find Harry Nunn, his shot on goal brought an excellent save from Oxeley in tipping the ball onto the crossbar and over for a Bury corner.
Southend should have taken the lead on 70 minutes when Nile Ranger was released, his crisp shot at goal was superbly saved by Joe Murphy, though he was unable to hold the ball, centre-half Tom Aldred was on hand to sweep the ball away for another Southend corner.
A half chance for Rohan Ince on 78 minutes almost cost the Shakers a goal. The on-loan Brighton midfielder controlled the ball with his left foot, and attempted to hit the ball on the volley with his right foot, but missed the ball completely – allowing the home side to break quickly. A crisp pass into the Bury box brought an equally crisp clearance from Eoghan O’Connell.
An 83rd minute Southend free-kick came to nothing. A slightly late challenge on Ranger from Tom Aldred saw Timlin flat the free kick to the back post, where Greg Leigh headed the ball clear and away from danger. Moments later, Southend’s Josh Wright did well to take the ball into the corner before cutting the ball into the Bury box. His cross came into the six-yard box slightly early and allowed Joe Murphy to bring the ball under his control before clearing the ball up the field.
Southend took the lead with minutes to go; a shot from Leonard struck Eoghan O’Connell. The ball fell back to Leonard who curled a delightful shot over a diving Joe Murphy and flew an inch under the crossbar and into the back of the net.
Bury: Joe Murphy, Greg Leigh, Eoghan O'Connell, Chris Maguire (Ince 60), Jermaine Beckford (C), Callum Reilly (O’Shea 60), Phil Edwards, Tom Aldred, Josh Laurent, Michael Smith, Harry Bunn (Williams 77)
Subs: Leo Fasan, Andrew Tutte, Jordan Williams, Mihai Dobre, Jay O'Shea, Rohan Ince, Saul Shotton
Southend United: Mark Oxley, Anthony Wordsworth, Anton Ferdinand, Michael Kightly (Ranger 63), Michael Timlin, Marc-Antoine Fortune (McClaughlin 68), Simon Cox, Ryan Leonard, Jason Demetriou, Josh Wright, John White
Subs: Nathan Bishop, Stephen McLaughlin, Amadou Ba, Dru Yarwood, Theo Robinson, Elvis Bwomono, Nile Ranger
Referee: Gavin Ward
Asst: Graham Kane
Asst: Matthew Lee
4th: Lee Venamore
Attendance: 6,787 (158)