Blues ended pre-season with a 1-1 draw against League One rivals Gillingham with Isaac Hutchinson’s goal being cancelled out by Mikael Mandron’s header at the Priestfield Stadium.
Gillingham thought they had taken the lead inside two minutes when Alex Jakubiak, who only signed for the Gills earlier in the day, fired home only for the goal to be ruled out for a foul in the build-up.
Steve Evans’ side created a couple of further chances through Jakubiak and Mikael Mandron but it was Blues who took the lead with their first effort on target after a Max Ehmer slip let them in.
Ehmer’s untimely fall left Charlie Kelman to race into the penalty area before picking out Isaac Hutchinson to fire home from six-yards out midway through the first-half.
The home side looked to level quickly against their League One rivals and Ehmer came close to making amends for his earlier mistake by forcing a point-blank save out of Nathan Bishop.
But former Colchester United striker Mandron would level matters before the interval after Bishop misjudged a Stuart O’Keefe cross allowing Mandron to head in off the underside of the crossbar.
After the break Gills would go close to taking the lead when Jakubiak found space on the edge of the area to fire a low shot that went just wide of Bishop’s right-hand post.
Bishop’s opposite number Jack Bonham was then called into action twice in quick succession with both Hutchinson and Theo Robinson forcing saves from the former Bristol Rovers goalkeeper.
Jakubiak again tested Bishop with a neat turn and shot on the edge of the penalty area before a familiar face made an appearance from the bench as Norman Wabo came on as a trialist for Gills.
The former Southend youngster though couldn’t grab a winner against his former side as Kevin Bond’s side ended pre-season with a 1-1 draw ahead of next week’s league opener against Coventry.
Blues XI: Bishop, Howard (Taylor 81’), White (C), Kiernan, Trialist (Goodship 83’), Trialist (McLaughlin 66’), Yearwood (Trialist 60’), Hyam (Mantom 66’), Hutchinson, Robinson, Kelman (Humphrys 71). Subs Not Used: Oxley
Gillingham: Mikael Mandron 40’
Southend United: Isaac Hutchinson 22’