Forest Green blew the chance to go top of League Two as Southend jumped off the foot of the table with a miraculous 3-1 away victory.
Shaun Hobson’s sumptuous first-half volley and Tim Dieng’s strike after the break was crowned by a Nathan Ferguson thunderbolt in the 70th minute.
Jamille Matt pulled a goal back for Rovers four minutes from time on a chastening night for Mark Cooper’s side.
Resurgent Southend opened the scoring after 20 minutes – defender Hobson thumping in a volley beyond a static Lewis Thomas after the ball dropped to him on the edge of the box from a partially cleared Kyle Taylor free-kick.
Rovers had to wait until the 45th minute to muster their first shot in anger – Odin Bailey inducing a gloved response from Mark Oxley.
Southend made it 2-0 when Simeon Akinola drove into the box for Dieng to curl home in the 55th minute.
And Ferguson’s howitzer which flew into the net from 35 yards was the pick of the goals with 20 minutes to go.
Matt’s 12th goal of the season from a Jake Young cross with four minutes to go was scant reward for Rovers as Southend moved one point above the drop zone.