A first-half hat-trick from Bilel Mohsni secured Southend a 3-0 win over struggling Barnet at Roots Hall on Friday night.
The French winger scored three times inside the opening 32 minutes, and the victory was enough to secure the Shrimpers at least a place in the play-offs.
Mohsni opened the scoring in the 11th minute when he fired home from six yards after Neil Harris' 20 yard free-kick had bounced back off the left-hand post.
Moments later, Mohsni headed a right-wing cross from Harris only inches past the right-hand post before he fired wide of the left-hand post from close range.
Mohsni remained a constant threat and doubled Southend's lead in the 25th minute with a diving header from Ryan Hall's left-wing corner.
Exactly the same combination then led to the Shrimpers making it 3-0 just seven minutes later as Mohsni again nodded home another Hall corner. And not even a more spirited second-half display could rescue a disastrous first game back in charge of Barnet for Martin Allen.