A point for both sides in an entertaining draw at Roots Hall
David Worrall's first goal of the season wasn't enough as Blues drew with Exeter City in Sky Bet League Two.
Worrall's header was the difference before the Grecians struck late into the game to rescue a point for Paul Tisdale's side.
Southend manager Phil Brown made six changes to the starting XI with Luke Prosser, Worrall, Michael Timlin, Lee Barnard Ryan Leonard and Jack Payne returning to the side.
Blues began strongly from the off, clearly intending to put an end to their run of two consecutive defeats.
Payne saw his effort hacked clear in the opening 20 minutes, whilst Will Atkinson's goalbound effort was deflected out for a corner.
Five minutes later and the visitors had a good chance themselves. Jimmy Keohane cut the ball back to the lurking Graham Cummins on the edge of the box, who fired into the side netting.
Moments later and Blues had a great chance to open the scoring. The rampaging Leonard fired a cross-cum shot into the box, and after Payne's touch was lose, Barnard fired at goal and the ball hit the post and trickled away from danger.
Just after the half hour mark Blues took the lead. Tricky wing play by Atkinson turned Danny Butterfield inside out before his deep cross found Worrall at the back post, who headed down and into the back of the net for his first goal of the campaign.
Just before half time, Dan Bentley had to be out quickly to deny Cummins after a bit of hesitancy at the back by Blues. The Southend number one getting down bravely to deny an Exeter equaliser.
After the break, Exeter came out more attacking than they did in the first and after Keohane shot straight at Bentley, Liam Secombe caught a half-volley sweetly but the ball flew over Bentley's upright.
After the hour mark, Leonard – back in the starting linup at right back – drove a free kick inches wide of the post from 30 yards.
Into the final 20 minutes of the game, the Grecians were building in confidence and Bentley had to be down well to beat away Sercombe's stinging drive, whilst Keohane's follow up was deflected away for a corner.
The equaliser came with less than 15 minutes remaining. After Cummins got goal-side, he tucked the ball past the onrushing Bentley.
And City could have grabbed a second with ten minutes left to play. Good work from David Wheeler on the left saw the substitute find Keohane on the edge of the box and his finessed effort came off the post and away from danger.
As the minutes ticked by, substitute Barry Corr headed wide of the target from a Worrall flag kick but that was to be the last chance for either side to snatch a winner and the game ended 1-1.
BLUES: Bentley; Leonard (c), Thompson, Prosser, Williams; Worrall, Deegan, Timlin (Hurst, 88), Atkinson; Payne (Weston, 77); Barnard (Corr, 81)
UNUSED: P. Smith, Bolger, Clifford, Coulthirst