Southend manager Paul Sturrock refused to criticise his players' display but admitted they lacked a cutting edge as they lost 1-0 at home to Charlton in their Johnstone's Paint Trophy Southern Area Quarter-final encounter.
A stunning first-half strike from Therry Racon won the game for the Addicks as the Shrimpers worked hard but lacked the quality in the final third.
Sturrock said: "I was pleased with our performance but naturally disappointed with the result. I thought we did more than enough to have at least earned a penalty shootout but it was not to be.
"My players showed plenty of endeavour but we have really got to start to get more shots on target. We are relying too much on our strikers to get goals and this has put additional pressure upon them.
"It is up to the midfielders to take on more responsibility in front of goal, and also for our defenders to move up and put additional pressure on opponents from set-pieces.
"If we can do that I am sure we will start winning games on a regular basis, because we showed that in other departments of our game we are more than capable of holding our own."