Dean Hammond headed an injury-time winner as Albion twice fought back from behind to grab a second consecutive home win.

The Seagulls had trailed to goals from Alan McCormack five minutes before half-time and Nick Bailey 12 minutes from the end but on each occasion Nicky Forster levelled to open his account for the club since his summer move from Hull.

There were three changes to the Albion team beaten at Tranmere.

As well as the two newcomers, Joel Lynch returned to the defence after injury.

Adam El-Abd reverted to right-back in the absence of the suspended Andrew Whing, while Sam Rents and Bas Savage were relegated to the bench.

Southend, conquerors of Watford in the Carling Cup in midweek, reverted to the line-up which secured a first League victory against Millwall at Roots Hall.

Teenager Eric Odhiambo, signed on loan from Leicester, was among the substitutes.

Leon Clarke, borrowed from Sheffield Wednesday, was not in the visitors' squad as his loan stint does not start until Monday.

Southend were the better side at the start of the match, the Seagulls rather curiously handing them the initiative with a cautious formation.

Nicky Forster was alone up front, with O'Callaghan lying deep in front of the back four.

O'Callaghan looked comfortable in possession but he was soon in the wars.

Albion were reduced to ten men for seven minutes while he received treatment off the pitch for a facial wound. O'Callaghan protested in vain to referee Mick Russell that it was caused by an elbow.

Midway through the first half, Michel Kuipers could be heard imploring his team mates to "get forward" as he launched a clearance up field. The Withdean faithful were probably thinking along the same lines as Albion struggled to make home advantage tell.

The ball only went into the Southend box once in the opening 25 minutes of the match, so there was little for the crowd to get excited about.

Albion's best two goal scoring efforts at Tranmere were from set-pieces and Alex Revell, playing down the right, should have given them a 25th-minute lead from an inviting free-kick by Lynch.

It had goal written all over it when Revell rose unmarked to meet it but his header went inches wide.

Both of Albion's new signings were involved when they almost broke the deadlock ten minutes later.

O'Callaghan launched a counter-attack by releasing Dean Cox. He took his time before picking out Martot with a cross which glanced narrowly wide of the target off the Frenchman's head.

Cox was booked shortly afterwards for a foul on Kerrea Gilbert, his fourth yellow card already this season. That is a worry for Albion. Cox, the creative heartbeat of the side, is now just one more caution away from a suspension.

Of greater concern to the Seagulls was the rather tame manner in which they fell behind five minutes before the break.

Alan McCormack's low volley from outside the area was not cleanly struck but it found its way into the net through a ruck of bodies.

Southend had already gone close by that stage with a shot from the lively Mark Gower which deflected just wide but the Seagulls should have been level on the stroke of half time. Revell headed a Cox free-kick against the foot of the right hand post, a near carbon copy of his earlier miss.

Wilkins thankfully changed back to an orthodox 4-4-2 for the second half, Revell joining Forster, who suffered from a lack of service and support in the opening 45 minutes.

It gave Albion more impetus going forward after the break. Martot headed wide from Lynch's cross while Albion were once again down to ten men, Tommy Elphick like O'Callaghan before him, departing the action for several minutes for treatment to a blood wound sustained in an aerial duel.

The Seagulls fashioned their first chance from open play after 56 minutes. Forster's cross deflected off a Southend head to Cox beyond the far post and his angled volley had to be beaten away by Southend keeper Darryl Flahavan.

Wilkins made a double substitution ten minutes later, Jake Robinson replacing Cox on the left and Rents coming on at left-back for Guy Butters, with Lynch moving into the centre of defence.

The changes almost paid off. Rents fed Robinson with a lovely pass inside the full-back and his effort was blocked by Adam Barrett, dashing across to make a vital sliding challenge.

A further substitution had the desired effect with 15 minutes left. Savage, brought on moments earlier for Martot, headed a cross from Rents goalwards and Forster made sure it crossed the line.

The Seagulls' joy was short lived. Southend were back in front within three minutes, skipper Kevin Maher picking out Nicky Bailey's run in to the box with a chip which the former Barnet midfielder volleyed past Kuipers.

It was a big blow so soon after equalising but Albion showed commendable character to draw level again five minutes from the end via the same combination. Savage, making quite an impact, crossed for Forster to head into the roof of the net from close range.

Even better followed, the unmarked Hammond capping a remarkable comeback by heading in a Rents corner in the first minute of stoppage time.

Were you at the game? If so, let us know what you thought of it and don't hold back. The best comments will appear in The Argus on Monday