SOUTHEND & EMT’s stand-in skipper Matt Wagstaff was left feeling frustrated following his side’s 71 run defeat to Ilford.

Wagstaff captained Southend for the Premier Division clash in the absence of Joe Robbins.

And he was disappointed not to have been able to help Southend come out on top.

“Personally as skipper it is very disappointing,” said Wagstaff.

“I wanted to keep the momentum going but it wasn’t to be.

“The result wasn’t what we wanted but there were still some promising performances.

“Sam Rowe looked back to his best, scoring 50 not out, and Tom Phillippe and Harry Ridgewell also scored half centuries.”

However, their efforts ultimately went unrewarded as Ilford batted strongly to secure victory at Southchurch Park.

“We came up against a strong Ilford side which, together with a lack of bowlers, meant it was going to be difficult,” said Wagstaff.

“However, the 11 players on the field always believed we had a chance.

“We let 40 runs go with some average bowling and fielding at times which meant they got above our target of 275.”

But, despite the defeat, eighth placed Southend - who were promoted from Division One on the final day of last season - remain 10 points above the relegation zone.

And Wagstaff is keen to get back on track against Brentwood next weekend.

“It is vital we bounce back with a strong performance next week because it does not get easier with a trip to Brentwood,” said Wagstaff.

“But with the players we have returning we are raring to go to make a statement.

“As a team and a club we are still finding our feet but we are certain we can put together a run of wins to get away from the bottom of the table.”

Southend won the toss and opted to field first, enabling Brentwood to score 323/5 from their 50 overs.

Opener Nishad Deven Gabhawala top scored with an impressive 135, while number three batsman Tom Phillippe then began to impress and top scored for Southend with 61.

Sam Rowe added 50 not out but five batsmen failed to reach double figures as Southend ended their 50 overs on 252/9.

Southend will now look to bounce back when they head to second placed Brentwood on Saturday.