Southend boss Mark Molesley praised Carlisle United's Offrande Zanzala for the goal that left his side up against it at Roots Hall.

Zanzala opened the scoring with a superb run and shot.

United went on to win 2-0 to deepen the second-bottom home side's relegation worries.

Molesley said afterwards: “They got their goal with a great turn and finish and it shows the difference.

“They’ve got players with quality who can produce a moment like that.

“We had a great chance to equalise and we didn’t take it.

“When you see a penalty missed it compounds that feeling but we can’t use that as an excuse."

Molesley refused to criticise Simeon Akinola for the penalty he saw saved by Paul Farman.

The striker followed a slow run-up with a poor effort which United's keeper kept out.

"Sim is the designated penalty taker and has been whenever he’s been on the pitch," said the Shrimpers boss, whose side are five points adrift of 22nd place.

"He is our number one penalty taker and he didn’t miss one last year, I think he got double figures for Barnet.

“But unfortunately he hasn’t put that one away.

“He also has a style of taking penalties which has served him well in the past but it didn’t go for us today.

“But we can’t use that moment to compound us.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves and we’ve got to show more.”

Molesley said Saturday's game, which saw United complete a league double of 2-0 wins over his side this term, was "a stark reminder that if we take our eye off any element of our game we will be hurt."

He also said his side were left "a bit rudderless" by the first-half loss to injury of the experienced Alan McCormack.

But he insisted Southend can "absolutely" still stay up.