SOUTHEND United centre-back Mark Phillips was left fuming after Saturday’s 3-2 defeat against Exeter City despite his goalscoring heroics.

The centre-back ended a 25 game goal drought with two well taken headers which put the Shrimpers ahead at Roots Hall.

But the Grecians fought back to claim all three points and that left Phillips devastated at the final whistle.

“I’m just gutted to have lost the game and if we are going to be winning promotion this season we need to be able to grind out victories in these type of matches,” said a clearly dejected Phillips.

“We didn’t do enough to win it and we certainly weren’t at our best but we should have been able to hold on to the lead and we’re all incredibly disappointed that we didn’t.

“I don’t know if we took our eye off the ball or what happened to be honest because it’s all still quite raw but it wasn’t good enough from our point of view.”

Exeter recovered from Phillips’ double strike to score twice in the final seven minutes to extend the Shrimpers’ winless streak to five matches.

The defeat sent Blues down to seventh in the League Two table.

And the centre-back is now demanding an immediate return to winning ways at home to Hartlepool United tomorrow night.

“We need to use this as fuel to kick on and get ourselves going again, starting with the Hartlepool game,” said Phillips.

“I think it’s good that we have another match coming round so quickly because we want to put it right and get back to winning ways.

“But it’s all well and good talking about these things, we actually need to go out there and do it because it’s a big game.

“And we will certainly need to play better than we have done here.”