SOUTHEND United boss Kevin Maher was left bitterly disappointed following Blues’ FA Trophy defeat to Hampton & Richmond.

The Shrimpers conceded twice late on to draw 2-2 after 90 minutes before losing 4-2 on penalties.

And Maher was a frustrated figure at the final whistle.

“I’m disappointed we ended up in the penalty shoot-out in a game we were in complete control of,” said Maher.

“They didn’t cause us any real problems and being 2-0 up we should see it out comfortably but a couple of mistakes gave them something.

“I wanted to go far as we could in this competition so I’m bitterly disappointed and we should never have lost.”

Goals from Nathan Ralph and Jack Bridge put the Shrimpers in control at Roots Hall.

But a poor backpass from Brooklyn Kabongolo enabled Ben Seymoor to get a goal back for Hampton & Richmond before Gus Scott-Morriss netted an own goal seven minutes into stoppage time.

And Maher was frustrated by both goals.

“We’ve got to defend better and it was a catalogue of errors for the second goal really,” said Maher.

“They’re basics but the whole performance was brilliant other than the last little bit when you give the two goals away.”

The poor defending took the tie to penalties where Blues were weakened by having to take off Harry Cardwell and Jack Bridge due to injuries.

“We made changes because we’re carrying knocks and injuries,” said Maher.

“Cards (Harry Cardwell) has had a knock and hasn’t trained all week, Cokes (Oli Coker) has been injured and Bridgey (Jack Bridge) was cramping up so we had to take him off.

“Credit to their goalkeeper he was brilliant and they took theirs well.”