SOUTHEND United suffered FA Trophy heartbreak against Hampton & Richmond at Roots Hall this afternoon.

The Shrimpers seemed set for a comfortable victory after goals from Nathan Ralph and Jack Bridge put Kevin Maher’s side 2-0 in front.

But a poor backpass from Brooklyn Kabongolo enabled Ben Seymoor to get the visitors back into the game before an own goal from Gus Scott-Morriss, seven minutes into stoppage time, took the third round tie to penalties.

And, with Jack Wood and Wes Fonguck both having efforts saved by Hampton & Richmond goalkeeper Adam Desbois, it was the National League South high-flyers who worked their way into the fourth round of the competition.

In stark contrast to the late drama, the game was short of action early on with Scott-Morriss firing a left footed shot over the crossbar from 20 yards before Bridge sent a shot straight at Adam Desbois with his left foot.

Moments later, Oli Coker saw a brilliant 20 yard shot palmed away by Desbois who then did well to keep out another long range effort from the Shrimpers midfielder.

With Blues continuing to push for the game’s opening goal, Scott-Morriss curled a 20 yard free-kick wide of the left post before Noor Husin sent a powerful effort inches over the crossbar from long range.

After the break, the visitors’ Sam Deadfield fired over from 25 yards before Blues hit back and broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute, with Ralph on target for the first time this season.

The Shrimpers skipper latched onto a deflected right wing cross from Harry Taylor before stooping to score with a well-directed header.

Blues stayed on top with Wood firing inches over from 20 yards before the home-side doubled their lead in the 57th minute, with Bridge on target from the penalty spot.

Referee Callum Walchester awarded the spot-kick after adjudging a hesitant Desbois to have brought down Harry Cardwell and that enabled a confident Bridge to fire home from 12 yards.

With the Shrimpers in control, boss Maher made his first change of the afternoon in the 71st minute with Wes Fonguck taking the place of Cardwell.

The switch saw Bridge move further forward into a striking role but the visitors were gifted a way back into the game in the 77th minute when a woeful backpass from Brooklyn Kabongolo enabled substitute striker Seymoor to round the advancing David Martin and score.

Blues replied with Coker sending another impressive long range effort inches wide of the left post before he was replaced by Mauro Vilhete 10 minutes from time.

After the change, Desbois superbly parried away a powerful 20 yard shot from Husin which the keeper would have seen late before Bridge fired wide of the right upright after being teed up by Wood.

Bridge then made way for Dan Mooney but the visitors equalised seven minutes into stoppage time with Scott-Morriss heading a right wing free-kick from Rob Hall into the top right hand corner of his own net.

The tie went straight to penalties with Wood missing the first of the Shrimpers spot-kicks to hand the initiative to the visitors.

Noor Husin and Mauro Vilhete both scored their efforts from the spot but with Hampton & Richmond netting all four of their penalties Fonguck had to fire home to keep the tie alive.

However, the midfielder’s effort was saved low down to his right by Desbois to send Hampton & Richmond through to the fourth round.