SOUTHEND United’s under 23 coach Kevin Maher was frustrated to see his side edged out by Bristol Rovers this afternoon.

Striker Norman Wabo fired the Shrimpers in front with a smartly taken effort at Boots & Laces.

But the Pirates hit back to triumph 2-1, much to the disappointment of Maher.

“It’s always frustrating to lose matches and it was disappointing not to be able to build on Norman’s goal which he took very well,” said Brown.

“We had a lot of the youth team playing with people involved in the squad for the Checkatrade Trophy and it was disappointing to concede just before the break.

“At half-time I just said about the discipline and tracking runnings plus playing simple when it was on and we fell a little bit short on that if I’m honest.

“We probably didn’t move the ball well enough around their physicality but we still had the chances to get a draw.

Bristol Rovers - who were coached by former Southend goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall - equalised just before the break when Rhys Kavanagh netted.

And the visitors completed their comeback midway through the second half when Michael Kelly drilled a low, left footed shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Southend again included trialist midfielder Harrison Reeves in their starting line-up.

Southend: Bishop (Seaden), Humphreys, Curran, Nelson, Clifford, Batlokwa (Kinali), Pianim, Reeves (Rush), Clark (Acquah), Phillips, Wabo