Two second half goals from Morecambe robbed Brown’s Shrimpers of the victory they needed to clinch automatic promotion on a frustrating day for the visitors.
Morecambe took the lead in the fifth minute with a well worked goal which was finished by Jack Redshaw at the far post but the lead lasted just four minutes as the Shrimpers levelled through Jack Payne.
Southend started the second half the stronger but they shipped a sloppy second when Aaron Wildig nipped in between goalkeeper Bentley and central defender Adam Barrett to poke the ball home from an acuter angle three yards from goal.
Southend hit back with Payne denied by an excellent save from Arestidou and Keven Hurst seeing a goal bound shot cleared off the line by Laurence Wilson on 65 minutes.
Seconds later the miss was compounded as the home side scored a superb third. Redshaw threaded through the perfect pass for Jamie Devitt and his right foot shot beat Bentley low to his right-hand side.
Brown said: “The lads are all down and we are gutted not to have got the win we needed but we have to put it to the back of our mind now and get ready for the play offs. It is disappointing because the expectation levels were so high and it was in our hands and to miss out on automatic promotion is a bitter disappointment.
“But this match aside we have finished the season in great form with the lads producing some great football and defending superbly and we have to take that spirit and form into the play-offs.
“We obviously wanted to seal it here and our fans travelled in great numbers and backed us superbly but it wasn’t to be. Their goalkeeper had the game of his life and produced some great saves but their second goal killed us.
“The players are hurting right now but they will take that heart with them into the play-offs and hopefully be stronger because of it.”
Morecambe boss Jim Bentley said he was proud of his side’s performance after they maintained their hoodoo over Southend with a ninth win 10 games over the Shrimpers.
He said: “We have a great record over Southend and we always seem to play well against them. I thought we were brilliant and deserved the win. We started superbly and scored a great early goal and even though they scored an equaliser soon after we always looked a threat.
“We had a bit of fortune with our second but the third was another superbly worked goal and it was great to finish the season on a high and give our fans something to shout about after some poor results at home this season.”