Southend United: Game with Eastleigh disrupted by fan protest in 10th minute

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Southend United were given a 10-point penalty by the National League over their tax debt

Southend United's National League match versus Eastleigh was temporarily halted as fans threw tennis balls on the pitch in protest at owner Ron Martin.

The incident occurred in the 10th minute in reference to the 10-point penalty handed to the club two days ago over their tax debt.

The punishment followed a High Court ruling to grant the club a final 42-day deadline to avoid being wound up.

The Shrimpers have yet to clear debt of £275,000 owed to HM Revenue & Customs.

Southend started the game at home to Eastleigh at the bottom of the National League table on minus four points and fans chanted "We want Martin out" as the protest began.

The club have total debts of £2.5m and have been given until 4 October to secure the club's future.

Owner and chairman Martin, who has been involved with Southend for more than 25 years, said the sale of the club to an unnamed Australian buyer should be finalised next month.