SOUTHEND United boss Kevin Maher felt the Shrimpers paid the price for not taking their chances during Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Gateshead at Roots Hall.

Marcus Dinanga’s second half goal saw the visitors bag all three points as Blues slipped to their second loss in succession.

And Maher thought his side should have made more of their start to the game.

“We started ever so well and with the front two we’ve got we wanted balls in the box,” said Maher.

“We need to take one of those early chances as then it gives them confidence and maybe we lose some.

“We wanted to ask questions of them defensively but credit to them they stood up to it.”

And Maher was impressed by other areas of Gateshead’s game.

“They’re a very good side, they play well and look after the ball,” said Maher.

“We turned it over quite well at times but probably on the turnover we weren’t quite good enough with the ball to take advantage.

“They had a period of 10 minutes or so when they’re in our half which is expected and it’s part of the game.”

“We’re under pressure when we don’t score goals and I don’t know how we haven’t scored at the end.”

Harry Cardwell and Nathan Ralph both saw headers bounce back off the woodwork in stoppage time.

And that added to Maher’s disappointment.

“We hit the woodwork twice and had enough balls going in and around the box,” said Maher.

“They took their chance and we haven’t taken ours.

“You see what happened at the end and think it’s one of those days when it’s not going to drop.

“But we need someone to take hold of it a little bit and grab it by the scruff of the neck to be the one who scores the goals.

“We had of lots of shots in and around the box in the first half but we just couldn’t find a way through.

“When that happens you’re at risk at conceding.”