Southend United U18s unbeaten run stretched to seven matches today with a 1-1 draw with Watford at Boots & Laces.
Seedy Njie’s first half strike handed Ricky Duncan’s team the lead before Bernard Mensah equalised on the stroke of half-time.
However, it was the Hornets that nearly raced into an early lead when after 10 minutes Blues keeper Ted Smith kept out Alex Jabubiak.
Mensah then struck the bar following Jabubiak’s lay-off before Daniel Wilks made a sprawling save from Southend’s Fope Coker.
Smith was again busy in the Blues goal as he got the faintest of touches on Kamoran English’s 20-yard strike before United took the lead.
Southend’s Jason Williams raced onto Coker’s through ball before cutting it back for Njie to bundle home from close range in the 39th minute.
And Njie then nearly added a second 60 seconds later but Wilks denied the Blues forward before Watford grabbed an equaliser a minute before half-time.
Bernard Mensah collected O’Neill’s free-kick on the edge of the box before beating Smith with a cool finish to make it 1-1.
Jack Bridge fired over the visitors bar after the break before Coker also shot over from 20-yards.
Coker and Njie then tested Wilks once more before Mensah hit the bar at the other end for Watford with a header from English’s free-kick.
Substitute Mitchell Pinnock forced the visiting keeper into a spectacular save in the 76th minute before Jack Payne was denied a winner as Blues pilled on the pressure.
The diminutive forward stooped to header inside the six-yard box and having beaten Wilks his effort was cleared off the line by a Hornets defender and in the final chance of the match Wilks stuck out his left-leg to block Pinnock’s shot forcing Ricky Duncan’s side to settle for a draw.
Southend: Smith, Jeffery, Farrell, Edwards, Banton, Tatham, Williams (M. Pinnock 69), Coker (Barlow 77), Njie, Bridge (Johnson 90), Payne.
Subs: Kojo, Snook.