SOUTHEND United’s stand-in captain Luke Prosser refused to blame his side’s mounting injury list as an excuse for last night’s 2-1 defeat against Cheltenham Town at Roots Hall.

Blues were missing Chris Barker, Ryan Cresswell, Mark Phillips, Gavin Tomlin and Michael Timlin for the crucial clash with the Robins, and midfielder Marc Laird also limped off midway through the second half.

But Prosser felt Blues could still have taken something from the game.

“We can’t use the injuries as an excuse because these things happen and the 11 players we had out there were still good enough for us to win the match,” said Prosser.

“We started slowly though and gave away two sloppy goals which killed us.

“Cheltenham didn’t create too many chances and we were far better in the second half.

“If we had started the game like that then we would have taken something from it.

“We’re all very disap-pointed, but now we have to bounce back for what is another important and very hard game against Northampton Town here on Saturday.”

Cheltenham’s winning goal was scored by boyhood Blues fan Paul Benson and left Southend ninth in the League Two table.