Report: Southend United 1-1 Cheltenham
Southend United were denied a sixth straight win as Cheltenham Town scored a 96th minute penalty to earn a 1-1 draw at Roots Hall on Saturday.
Kevan Hurst gave Blues the lead at the break after tucking the ball away from close range in the 41st minute.
Southend looked to have wrapped up all three points until the 95th minute after Matt Richards sent Daniel Bentley the wrong way from the penalty spot after Anthony Straker was penalised for handball.
Cheltenham had the first real chance of the game in the fifth minute after the lively Jermaine McGlashan flashed a pass right across the face of the goal which evaded Byron Harrison by a matter of inches at the back post as he lingered unmarked.
The away side continued to press with Kemar Roofe testing Bentley in the Southend goal from 18 yards out with the goalkeeper coming out on top as he parried the ball away to safety low to his left.
Bentley was busy again with David Noble's free-kick taking a deflection off Michael Timlin diverting the ball away from the keeper before managing to adjust his body quickly to make the save.
Blues struggled to get a hold of the game and were fortunate not to go behind just before the half hour mark after Rob Kiernan's attempted back header fell short with Byron Harrison squaring the ball to McGlashan who slipped as he attempted to make the pass with the goal at his mercy.
Southend tried to find their way back into the game and some neat footwork from Barry Corr presented the striker the opportunity to fire at goal just inside the area before his tame effort was saved comfortably by Scott a Brown in goal.
Blues found the breakthrough in the 41st minute through Hurst after the midfielder saw his first effort saved before following up the rebound to tuck the ball away from close range.
Corr's headed knockdown found the midfielder who turned well before seeing his strike blocked by Brown as he charged from his goal line, the ball fell kindly to Hurst who made no mistake slotting the ball home much to the delight of the Roots Hall crowd.
United went in at the break with the one goal advantage and with an hour on the clock the Robins nearly drew level after Noble whipped in a dangerous free-kick from a difficult angle which gave Bentley no choice but to punch the ball away to safety.
Southend hit back with captain John White fizzing a right footed effort wide of the target from long distance after Cheltenham failed to close the defender down.
The second half came into life with Harrison charging down the left wing before cutting the ball back to McGlashan who saw his volley held by Bentley in the Southend goal.
Blues thought they had secured all three points until the 95th minute after Trevor Kettle pointed the spot after he Penalised Anthony Straker for handball from McGlashan's header.
Richards held his nerve from the spot sending Bentley the wrong way with Cheltenham snatching a late point.
The result denied Southend the opportunity to be top of the Sky Bet League Two and their sixth win in a row.