KEVIN MAHER admitted that he was ‘bitterly disappointed’ after Lenell John-Lewis’ late strike earned York City a 1-0 victory at Southend United on Saturday.

A vital three points for York saw Neal Ardley’s side leapfrog Southend in the Vanarama National League table and stretch the gap from the relegation zone to three points, after the late kick-off between Woking and Hartlepool United, at the expense of Maher’s Shrimpers who are now level on points with Dorking Wanderers in the drop zone.

Southend have now suffered three consecutive defeats with the relegation zone lingering, and Maher was left feeling frustrated and ruing missed opportunities, with the Shrimpers boss disappointed at the manner of goal which York had scored.

“I am bitterly disappointed,” Maher told the Southend media team.

“To concede so late and from a set piece, which we highlighted that they do. We’ve switched off and it has fallen to someone in the six-yard box, that’s the game.

“We’ve played well, but we can get more people into the box to put it in the net and for more people to be brave in the final third.

“Don’t be safe, don’t be brave, we don’t want people to walk it in but for people to put their foot through it, we’ve had enough chances.

“(Adam) Crowther has had a couple of good chances, but we’ve had three forwards on the pitch trying to score and haven’t been able to put it in the net.

“We don’t want to lose, people will moan and say that we pass it too much but we want to get it into the final third as soon as possible.

“We haven’t got strikers in the game to get the ball and put it into the net, Cardwell is unbelievable and is our top scorer, we just need someone grab hold of it and make the shirt their own.

“We’re all frustrated, but some of the football was top drawer but we can’t keep saying it. We have this conversation in the changing room.

“We can play as well as we want but we need to win games.”

Maher also reacted to Southend’s current precarious position, feeling vexatious after the National League had deducted ten points from the Shrimpers points tally earlier in the season, due to the club’s ownership dispute.

“Don’t forget there was ten points, I’m not going to hang onto that and I’m not going to gloss over the position that we’re in, but we have been done for ten points.

“We put that to bed and forget about that, we’ve got to get results by sticking together, the fans were brilliant for large parts of the game and kept the lads going and kept pushing.”