Eastwood goal not enough as Blues held
Southend United were held to a 1-1 draw against Torquay United at Roots Hall this afternoon.
The home side took the lead through a clinical finish from Freddy Eastwood in the ninth minute before Joss Labadie secured a point for the away side on the stroke of half time.
Blues had the first chance in the sixth minute after Ben Reeves attacked down the right wing before finding Kevan Hurst eight yards out who saw his effort blocked by the legs of Brian Saah.
From the resulting corner Bilel Mohsni headed inches wide of the top corner after the centre back rose highest from 12 yards out.
Southend found the net in the ninth minute through a textbook Eastwood finish just inside the Torquay area.
The striker cut in from the right before curling a low left footed effort past Michael Poke in the Torquay goal giving the keeper no chance.
The Gulls fought back and were denied an equaliser after a smart save from Daniel Bentley denied Jordan Chapell after the midfielder arrowed a right footed drive at goal which the keeper was equal to.
Blues were enjoying most of the possession but with half time approaching Bentley pulled off an excellent save to deny Lee Mansell from close range after the midfielder found space inside the box.
Moments later Torquay stole an equaliser through Labadie after he managed to squeeze in Chapell’s driven cross from close range at the back post.
With the scores level at the break Southend nearly took the lead in the 53rd minute through Britt Assombalonga’s header after Poke was unable to claim the ball and the striker turned his header towards goal before Angus MacDonald cleared.
Neither side managed to create any clear cut chances with the game hotly contested in midfield and with that in mind Paul Sturrock made a change bringing on Gavin Tomlin on his return from injury for Eastwood in the 74th minute.
After being on the pitch for less than a minute Tomlin charged at the Torquay defence before finding Reeves who saw his left footed effort saved by the legs of Poke in the Gulls goal.
Poke once again denied Southend in the 83rd minute after a swift counter attack gave Hurst the chance to fire at goal with the keeper once again saving with his feet.
Neither side were able to find the winning goal with the game finishing all square as Southend still look to push for the play-off places.