SIMON Cox felt Southend United should have been awarded a late penalty in their 1-0 defeat at Blackburn Rovers.

Cox appeared to be brought down by Dominic Samuel in the dying minutes at Ewood Park.

And the Shrimpers striker could not believe referee Andy Woolmer opted to wave play on.

“The ball fell to me, I had a touch and then felt a lot of contact in the back,” said Cox.

“My question is why would I go down because I’m in a great position and I’m about to slot home.

“I asked the ref and he didn’t want to answer.

“To me, that says he got it wrong.

“It was a stonewall penalty and I can’t believe it’s not been given.”

However, Cox then suffered another unfortunate blow in stoppage time when his goalbound effort struck team-mate Jason Demetriou following a goalmouth scramble.

And the 30-year-old felt the near miss summed up the Shrimpers’ day.

“At the end, Jason got in the way of my shot,” confirmed Cox.

“But that’s just the way it was for us.”

The Shrimpers more than held their own against the League One leaders but were ultimately undone by a second half header from Rovers striker Danny Graham.

But Cox felt Blues were the better side.

“Blackburn are a good team but I thought we were the better side,” said the striker.

“We had a game plan and for 55 minutes it was working perfectly.

“Even when they scored we still fancied ourselves because although they’re right up there, I didn’t think there was anything at all between the two sides.

“It’s disheartening to be coming away with nothing but at the same time we can take a lot of heart from that performance.

“This was a big test and we did well.”

The Shrimpers started the game in a solid looking 4-5-1 formation, with Cox the lone striker.

And the forward insisted he gave all he could in an unfamiliar position.

“It’s a role I’m not too familiar with but I was put up there to do a job and you just have to give your best,” said Cox.

“You have to try and get hold of the ball and make sure you work hard.

“The game plan was to target one of the centre-backs, leave one with me and then go for a good press.

“We did that and we made them look the second best team out there. It’s just very frustrating we haven’t taken anything from the game.”