Southend United secured a point after a 0-0 draw against Port Vale at Roots Hall this afternoon.
Blues may feel like it was two points dropped after the heroics of Chris Neal in goal for Port Vale kept the scores level.
Ryan Cresswell’s excellent block in the seventh minute kept the scores level after Louis Dodds shot from 18 yards was steered clear of the target with the ball looking destined for the net.
Blues responded instantly with Britt Assombalonga testing the gloves of Neal in the Vale goal with a stinging 20 yard drive which the keeper smartly claimed.
Ashley Vincent thought he had given the away side the lead in the 17th minute but the goal was not given with the winger after adjudged to have put the ball into the back of the net using his hand.
With the game opening up, Tamika Mkandawire nearly bundled the ball home while on the floor after Kevan Hurst’s right wing free kick caused chaos in the Vale box.
Neal pulled off a tremendous save in the 24th minute denying Gavin Tomlin his second goal in two games after the striker superb first time volley from Clayton McDonald’s clearance looked to be creeping in the corner before the keeper tipped the ball round the post.
Tomlin came even closer minutes later, taking the ball past McDonald after a surging run down the wing before clipping the outside of the post from an acute angle as Blues looked to take the advantage.
After surviving the scares, Port Vale had a golden opportunity to take the lead after Tom Pope gave Ben Williamson a chance in front of goal and with just Paul Smith to beat the keeper came out on top palming the ball away.
Tomlin was at the heart of Southend’s attack with another effort striking the post from a difficult angle with Neal flat footed in goal for Vale.
The game was soon becoming a head to head between Tomlin and Neal with the goalkeeper coming out on top again after the striker’s curled effort was tipped round the post.
Vale were struggling to withstand the Southend pressure and a superb diving block from Joe Davis in the 40th minute preventing Chris Barker from opening his account for the season.
The second half was more contained with both teams finding it hard to create clear cut chances with neither side being able to find the first goal of the match.
With 71 minutes gone Southend should’ve taken the lead through Assombalonga after a clever reverse pass from Michael Timlin gave the young striker a clear path at goal before the outstanding Neal in goal managed to divert the effort away from goal for a corner.
The away side nearly snatched victory at the death after Vincent chased a long ball over the top only to fire his effort straight at Smith before Phillips blocked Tom Pope’s rebound.
The game finished all square with both teams capable of snatching victory in this pulsating affair at Roots Hall.