ISAAC Hutchinson bagged four second half goals to help Southend United win 5-2 at Waltham Abbey in the fourth round of the Essex Senior Cup tonight.

For the second round in succession the Shrimpers fought back from 2-0 down to secure a convincing victory in the competition.

And Blues coach Kevin Maher was pleased with the spirit shown by his side.

“The reaction was pleasing in the second half,” said Maher.

“We changed things around slightly and it paid off.

“The goals we got were very, very good and the first goal at the start of the second half was very important for us because then we were on the front foot and we always hoped our fitness and professionalism would prove key at the end.”

Hutchinson played a key part in the victory and brought Blues back level with an outrageous effort which saw him beat Waltham Abbey goalkeeper Lamar Johnson from fully 45 yards.

And Maher was full of praise for the youngster.

“In the second half Isaac was brilliant,” said the former Blues midfielder.

“Putting Zak (Pianim) in there let him go and play and show his ability.

“Not many people would be able to score that second goal, especially on a bobbly pitch and to do something like that is top drawer.

“We showed good character to come back. They keep being asked questions but they keep answering them.”

As a result, the Shrimpers are now into the quarter finals of the Essex Senior Cup and Maher is pleased his players will continue to experience more testing matches.

“The more these players can get exposed to this type of football the better it is,” said Maher.

“Under 23 matches are a great learning curve for them but to chuck in something different and for them to respond like they have shows good character and that they can deal with the physical side of things too.”

Blues looked to make the breakthrough early on with Norman Wabo beating his man before seeing his low shot smothered by Johnson at the neat post.

But, with 10 minutes on the clock, Waltham Abbey took the lead when Rob Clark’s free-kick from the right hand side deceived Shrimpers’ goalkeeper Harry Seaden on its way into the back of the net.

In reply, Wabo curled a 20 yard shot straight at Johnson before Eren Kinali had an effort ruled out for offside.

But, after surviving the scares, Abbey hit back to double their lead in the 26th minute with Billy Holland scoring from the penalty spot after a foul from Sam Knock.

The Shrimpers came close to getting back into the game when Harry Phillips curled a 20 yard shot against the right post before Wabo delayed an opportunity to shoot when well positioned in front of goal.

However, Blues stepped things up after the break and, in the 48th minute, they halved the home-side’s lead when Amadou Ba sprinted down the right flank and delivered a deep cross which Phillips played back into the path of Hutchinson who netted with a smartly taken left footed shot.

Wabo then sliced an eight yard shot wide of the target after more good approach play from Ba but, in the 54th minute, Blues drew back level in stunning fashion as Hutchinson netted with a superb effort from just inside the Abbey half.

The Shrimpers remained on top with Wabo doing well to set up Kinali whose deflected effort flew wide of the right post.

But Blues were not to be denied for long and the visitors went in front on the hour mark when Phillips’ right wing corner fell to Ba who netted with a smartly taken half volley at the far post.

Moments later, Kinali fired Rob Howard’s left wing cross over the crossbar from eight yards before Ba did likewise after another good centre from the left-back.

Blues finally made it 4-2 in the 80th minute with Hutchinson completing his hat-trick with a powerful shot from 25 yards which flew into the bottom left hand corner of the net.

But Hutchinson, who scored on his first team debut against Cambridge United in the Checkatrade Trophy back in September, was still not finished as he completed the scoring in stoppage time with another well-taken effort which flew into the top left hand corner of the net from 10 yards.

Southend United: Seaden, Humphreys, Pianim, Knock, Howard, Kinali, Hutchinson, Klass (Nelson 46), Phillips (Batlokwa 86), Wabo (Acquah 88), Ba

Subs not used: Stewart & Taylor