Blues pick up a point on the road at Doncaster Rovers and return with a clean sheet.
Southend United secured a second consecutive point on the road in League One, after a 0-0 draw with Doncaster Rovers on a Tuesday night at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Blues boss Phil Brown made four changes from the side that lost against Walsall on Saturday, as Kevan Hurst, Will Atkinson, Michael Timlin and David Worrall all started the game in South Yorkshire.
Southend started as the stronger of the two sides, threatening to score the opening goal of the game in under sixty seconds. After winning a corner straight from kickoff, Hurst whipped the ball onto the head of Cian Bolger, but the Irish defender could only head over the Doncaster goal.
Rovers surged up the other end, with Doncaster captain James Coppinger putting a ball across the face of goal, but the header from Harry Forrester was too soft and failed to trouble Dan Bentley.
David Mooney then curled an inviting ball towards the far side of goal, but Hurst was unable to get the all-important touch to put Blues into the lead.
Mooney then combined with Worrall in the left channel, with the latter of the two drifting off the flank before curling an effort into the arms of Rovers keeper Thorsten Stuckmann.
Doncaster began to find their feet and began to make forays forward, but convincing clearances from Bolger and Adam Barrett denied them any clear goalscoring opportunities.
Mooney then picked up the ball from Ryan Leonard in the 33rd minute, darting towards goal before sending a low shot towards goal from 20 yards. On this occasion, Stuckmann was equal to Blues’ attacking efforts.
It ended 0-0 after the first period at the Keepmoat, with Blues looking the more likely side to score, and Brown’s men continued to pursue the opening goal at the start of the second half.
However, the hosts were calling for a penalty just three minutes into the second half, after Forrester went to ground as he received the ball. Referee Sebastian Stockbridge said there was nothing in it, and play continued.
Hurst picked the ball up on the left wing in the 53rd minute, charging inside and beating two Rovers defenders before dragging a low effort just wide of the near post.
Doncaster manager Paul Dickov then made the first change of the evening, with Richard Chaplow replacing Harry Middleton.
Southend’s first change came in the 60th minute, with Hurst making way for Myles Weston.
Rovers substitute Chaplow then went into the book for a reckless follow-through on Bolger just eight minutes after being brought on.
The home side made their second swiftly afterwards, with Curtis Main replacing Cedric Evina.
Blues were forced to follow suit almost instantly, after Bolger had to hobble off after receiving treatment. Luke Prosser was called upon as his replacement.
Doncaster were denied by Bentley in the 69th minute, as the Southend stopper dropped to his right to deny Forrester, before the Rovers man curled his follow-up effort high and wide of the far post.
Joe Pigott then replaced Mooney as Brown made his final change.
Pigott was instantly involved in some promising build-up play that involved Weston and Worrall, and the shot that followed drew the save of the match.
Worrall cut the ball back for Timlin, whose strike appeared destined for the top corner until a last-gasp fingertip save from Doncaster stopper Thorsten Stuckmann.
In the 77th minute, Timlin spotted that Stuckmann had drifted from his goal-line, but the lobbed effort from the Blues midfielder sailed over the crossbar this time.
Doncaster made their final change in the 82nd minute, as Forrester limped off, as Billy Whitehouse emerged from the bench to replace him.
A misjudged bounce presented Pigott with a chance to score in the 87th minute, but his looping effort had too much on it and failed to find the back of the net.
Leonard had a low effort in the 89th minute, but Stuckmann ensured his clean sheet remained in tact with a near-post save.
There were five minutes of injury time, which gave both sides a chance to stake a late claim for the points. Doncaster substitute Main had the best opportunity to break the deadlock, but poked wide after a lofted ball into the box.
Stuckmann was then called into action once again, as Worrall lashed a low effort across the face of goal that required the German goalkeeper’s attention.
Worrall’s effort proved to be the final opportunity of the game, as both sides had to settle for a point.
SOUTHEND UNITED: Bentley; White, Bolger (Prosser - 67’), Barrett, Coker; Hurst (Weston - 60’), Leonard, Atkinson, Timlin, Worrall; Mooney (Pigott - 70’).
Unused Substitutes: T. Smith, Deegan, Wordsworth, Payne.
Attendance: 5,164 - including 350 Southend United fans