A first-half own goal from Ben Coker and 40th-minute strike from midfielder Ben Godfrey saw the second-placed Shrews move to within two points of League One leaders Wigan.
And Hurst was happy with how Shrewsbury were able to extend their unbeaten run to seven matches.
“We were well worthy of the points against a decent side,” said Hurst.
“It was a heavy pitch so credit to the players for the first-half performance, but the second half was about defending.
“I said I didn’t want to sit back, though, and I thought we still had enough of the game.
“They probably had one other chance and it ended up in Dean Henderson’s hands after he’s made one save.
“Other than that I thought we were worthy of the points, so great credit to the players.
“It was a also a special goal from Ben (Godfrey), but you could tell he doesn’t get many because he didn’t know what to do with himself until he started screaming.”
The Shrews opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Alex Rodman sped down the left flank and delivered a cross which Shrimpers defender Coker headed into his own net.
Shrewsbury then doubled their lead five minutes before the break when on loan Norwich midfielder Godfrey latched onto Ryan Leonard’s attempted clearance from Shaun Whalley’s right-wing corner and sent an impressive long-range shot into the top right-hand corner of the net.
Southend got back into the game when Leonard headed home Stephen McLaughlin’s left-wing corner at the near post.
And the Shrimpers should have levelled in the 74th minute when Shrews goalkeeper Henderson parried out an effort from Simon Cox, only for Nile Ranger to fire the rebound straight at the on-loan Manchester United shot-stopper.
Southend slipped to a fourth defeat in five games but boss Phil Brown, whose side are now 14th, believes a play-off place is still possible.
“I 100 per cent think we can bounce back from this and make the play-offs,” said Brown.
“If anything I thought Shrewsbury played the conditions better than we did, which is unusual for us at Roots Hall, but they clearly did their homework.
“People will criticise the pitch but the pitch has been what it has been all season so I’m not going to start saying that’s the reason we got beaten. We got beaten because they were better at regains than us.
“Nile Ranger had the chance of the game to equalise. If he puts it away it’s a great point against a very good team.”
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