Southend United secured a battling point at the Macron Stadium as they drew 1-1 with Bolton Wanderers in Sky Bet League One.
Phil Brown made just the one change for this one with Captain Adam Barrett replacing Jakub Sokolik at the back, and Ted Smith keeping his place in goal in a 5-3-2 formation.
As the rain lashed down at the Macron Stadium the Blues made a blistering start as league debutant Kyprianou rifled home on three minutes!
White's deep right wing cross found the left-back who superbly hit the ball into the roof of the net to give Blues an early lead.
Bolton responded quickly and Southend had Leonard to thank that the score remained 1-0 Blues as he cleared Wheater’s header off the line on 8 minutes.
The Trotters continued to press as Spearing fired wide from 20 yards after 19’. Had that shot gone in it would have been somewhat dubious with Anton Ferdinand down injured.
Ferdinand could play no part as he looked to have pulled up – He was replaced by Sokolik in a straight swap at the back.
Back came Bolton as Madine headed over from Buxton’s deep-lying cross into the area from the right on 24’.
Looking to nick one on the counter, Cox volleyed over for Blues minutes later from just outside the area after a knock down from Thompson’s throw.
Madine again attempted to nod the home side level after a cross from the right-hand side, again it missed the target on 29’.
Vela’s cross on 32’ caused panic in the box as Smith failed to hold on to it in the greasy conditions. The ball fell loose though the Blues defence were on hand to clear.
Barrett was once again at the rescue with ten minutes of the half to play as Anderson’s strike was deflected and by luck played Madine in on goal. As Madine looked to bury it there was Barrett with a heroic tackle.
Smith was next to superbly deny the Trotters with a magnificent save to his right after Anderson’s header seemed destined for goal with just a few minutes left to play in the first period.
Blues held firm in the four minutes of additional time to ensure they went into the break with a one-goal advantage.
Half time: Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Southend United.
It was a case of end to the other in the first piece of action in the second half as a Blues corner was countered by Bolton with Anderson just putting past the post with Smith to beat.
Bolton bundled their way back into the match on 48 minutes as Anderson forced the ball into the net ahead of Smith – something the Blues keeper thought to be unfairly as the floating cross came into the box.
With an hour gone, Blues had to remain strong as Bolton looked for the lead – Spearing fired over on 61’ as one of the barrage of long balls fell out to him on the edge.
Williams replaced Cox with 25 minutes left to play as Blues looked for some legs on the break.
Leonard was on hand to hook a goalbound Bolton cross clear on 67’ as Southend desperately looked to hold on to a point their terrific defending deserved.
There was a chance for a smash and grab on 72’ as Mooney charged down a short back pass, blocked Howard's kick, but the ricochet didn’t fall kindly and was cleared.
There was a penalty appeal for Blues on 76 as Mooney appeared to be pushed to the ground by Beevers, nothing given.
With ten to play a superb save from Smith denied a curling free-kick from Spearing with it all to play for.
With the game in the balance, Southend looked to go on the counter though Leonard appeared to be chopped down, though referee Sabastian Stockbridge didn’t think so, much to the annoyance of boss Brown who was sent to the stands for his appeals.
Blues had to survive some late pressure but held on to secure a battling point at the Macron!
Southend XI | Smith, White, Thompson, Ferdinand, Barrett, Kyprianou, Atkinson, King, Leonard, Cox, Mooney.
SUBS | Oxley, Sokolik, O'Neill, McGlashan, Bridge, Williams, Matsuzaka.
Bolton Wanderers | Howard, Buxton, Moxey, Beevers, Spearing, Anderson, Madine, trotter, Henry, Wheater.
SUBS | Alnwick, Taylor, Proctor, Taylor, Ameobi, Wilson, Thorpe
Attendance: 13,519 (653 Away)