SOUTHEND United sunk to a 2-0 defeat against Hull City in the fourth round of the FA Cup at Roots Hall this afternoon – despite producing a spirited performance against the Tigers.

The Shrimpers were level with the Premier League visitors for more than an hour and came close to opening the scoring when Michael Timlin slammed a long range shot against the crossbar.

But a second half brace from striker Matty Fryatt meant Hull made it through to the fifth round of the competition.

Steve Bruce’s side were made to work for the win though and, with 25 minutes on the clock, Southend almost took the lead when Barry Corr’s near post header from Ryan Leonard’s right wing throw was tipped over the crossbar by Steve Harper.

Hull soon hit back and wasted a great chance to score just nine minutes later when George Boyd broke free down the left hand side before rolling the ball in to the path of the on-rushing Danny Graham.

But, with just Blues goalkeeper Daniel Bentley left to beat, Graham saw his shot blocked by the legs of the young custodian.

That ensured the game remained goalless at the break but, five minutes in to the second half, the Shrimpers came close to taking the lead as a screaming long range shot from Michael Timlin bounced back off the underside of the crossbar.

Having survived the scare, Hull soon replied with Graham having a well struck 16 yard shot smartly smothered by Bentley and, on the hour mark, the keeper impressively kept out a deflected effort from David Meyler.

However, with 62 minutes on the clock, the Tigers finally made the breakthrough as Fryatt pounced inside the penalty area to drill a low, left footed shot in to the bottom right hand corner of the net from 12 yards.

Blues attempted to get back in to the game with a couple of substitutions which saw Cauley Woodrow come on for Timlin and Jack Payne for Anthony Straker.

But it was still the visitors who threatened next with one of their own replacements, Robbie Brady, having a long range shot kept out by Bentley low down to his left hand side.

And, deep in to stoppage time, the Tigers made sure of their win when Fryatt worked his way past Luke Prosser before firing home from a narrow angle.