Cheltenham Town Reserves finished the Central League South West season with a narrow 2-0 defeat at Southend United Under-23s on Tuesday afternoon.
The Robins took a youthful squad to the south east coast, that included a number of Academy players, as goals from Amadou Ba and Shamir Mullings secured the points for the hosts.
Coach Aaron Downes, who led the team for the away trip, said: “The application was spot on from all the players, we just lacked that little bit of consistency in the final third.
“I’m really proud of the attitude of the entire squad. It’s never easy when in the final week of the season you have a game four hours away. But everybody put in a shift, we defending well in general and some of our build-up play was really positive.
“Rhys Lovett made some good saves, the two centre backs, Joe Rodon and Manny Onariase, were very good and it’s a great experience for a number of our younger Academy players who will learn from it and be better for this game.”
Southend took an early lead when Ba cut inside and fired home before they nearly doubled the advantage when Nico Cotton struck the inside of the post.
Ba thought he had a second when he headed home a free kick, but celebrations were cut short by the offside flag as the Shrimpers took a 1-0 lead into the break.
A closely fought second half saw Southend eventually wrap up the points in fortunate circumstances when substitute Shamir Mullings turned the ball home from close range after a deflection.
Robins: Lovett (Middlehurst 80), Chatzitheodoridis, Rodon, Onariase, Handley, Briscoe, Andrews, Brennan, Page, Dawes (Scott 75), Price (Clift 55). Subs: Downes.
Southend: Bishop, Humphreys, Knock, Mitchell-Nelson, Clifford, Batlokwa, Gard, Bedford, Cotton, Marah, Ba. Subs: Mullings, Hutchinson, Clark Howard.