TWO stoppage time goals from Adam Hammill saw Southend United’s under 23 side lose 3-1 to Scunthorpe United in this afternoon’s Premier League Cup second round qualifier.

Blues - who had coach Craig Fagan in charge for the first time - improved after the break with Matt Rush cancelling out John McAtee’s early opener at Roots Hall.

But the visitors just twice in 14 minutes of added on time – due to a worrying head injury to Shrimpers striker Emile Acquah - to secure their passage into the group stages of the competition.

Scunthorpe opened the scoring after just two minutes when McAtee neatly controlled a right wing cross and sent an acrobatic volley flying into the left hand side of the South Stand net.

Moments later, McAtee had another goalbound effort blocked by Rob Howard before Blues hit back with Acquah heading Richard Taylor’s cross over the North Bank goal.

With the Shrimpers pushing for an equaliser, Matt Rush then headed Terrell Egbri’s centre against the crossbar in the closing action of the first half.

After the break, Blues were forced into their first change as Acquah suffered a serious looking head injury which required close to 10 minutes of treatment before he was stretchered off.

Jon Benton took Acquah’s place and, in the 66th minute, the midfielder helped to bring the Shrimpers back level as his low, left wing cross was diverted into the back of the net by Rush from six yards.

Eren Kinali then came close to putting Blues in front as cut in from the left hand side before curling a shot wide of the far post before Benton saw a curling 20 yard shot pushed away by Tom Collins.

With Blues pushing for a late winner, Rush then just failed to sent a deflected cross shot into the back of the net from close range.

And the missed opportunity came back to haunt the Shrimpers as the visitors regained the lead six minutes into stoppage time when a left wing cross picked out Hammill who netted with a low, right foot finish into the bottom right hand corner.

But Scunthorpe were not finished yet and, three minutes later, the Iron made sure of the win with Hammill scoring from the penalty spot after Harry Jessop had been brought down by the otherwise impressive Richard Taylor.

Southend United: Seaden, Howard, Mitchell-Nelson, Taylor, Clifford, Egbri, Pianim, Stewart (Eastwood 77), Kinali, Rush, Acquah (Benton 56)