Powell: Southend were flat in defeat to Portsmouth
Chris Powell rued Southend's '˜flat' performance after being knocked out of the Checkatrade Trophy by Pompey.Â
The Blues delivered a 2-0 winÂ to march into the quarter-finals of the competition on Tuesday night.
Louis Dennis scored his first goal for the club after just 93 seconds before Gareth Evans doubled the visitors' lead on the stroke of half-time.
Despite Kenny Jackett rolling out a youthful side '“Â handing debuts to Dan Smith and Leon Maloney '“Â they cruised to victory at Roots Hall.
In contrast, the Shrimpers' team was filled with experience but they mustered just one shot on target throughout 90 minutes.Â
And manager Powell admitted his troops looked rusty against Pompey.Â
He told the Southend Echo: '˜It was the worst possible start and we looked flat.
'˜We looked rusty and couldn't build up any true momentum in the game.
'˜We had the odd flash here and there but it was very tough.
'˜Portsmouth competed very well physically and it was hard for us to do anything in the first half.
'˜They punished us again in injury time andÂ after that we huffed puffed, but it was flat.'