Southend United’s inability to convert chances cost the Essex side on the opening day of the Sky Bet League One season as they lost 3-2 to Doncaster Rovers.
The Blues dominated an entertaining first half but were unable to beat the visiting ‘keeper Marko Marosi.
Despite being under the cosh for almost an hour, the visitors broke the deadlock on 51 minutes. Tommy Rowe took advantage of Michael Turner’s poor clearance, picked out John Maquis who fired home from close range.
Seven minutes later Rovers doubled their lead. Mallik Wilks turned well under pressure and kept his composure to drive a low shot into the bottom corner.
Blues boss Chris Powell responded with a double substitution but the visitors extended their lead with twenty minutes left. This time Rowe turned goalscorer as his effort trickled into the bottom corner from the edge-of-the-box.
Tom Hopper bundled home Sam Manton’s saved effort to reduce the deficit before Theo Robinson set up an entertaining finale with seven minutes left.
But it was too little too late for the Essex outfit and Powell was left frustrated by the number of missed opportunities.
“Our first half performance warranted a goal and we needed a goal then too,” said Powell to the Essex Echo.
“We were very good but their keeper made some exceptional saves and was man of the match for me.
“We had 24 shots on goal and when you have that many you have to score more than two.
“The drinks break or half-time killed our momentum and we had a 15 minute spell when we weren’t right.
“They were poor goals to concede and we gave ourselves a real mountain to climb.
“But although everyone is down including myself there were actually some positives out there for us.”