SOUTHEND United were held to their first goalless draw of the season after an uneventful game with Newport County at Roots Hall tonight.

The Shrimpers held the better of the play in the tricky conditions in the first half and visiting goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley made a trio of fine saves.

But County came more in to the match after the break and would have claimed all three points as wing-back Robbie Wilmot failed to convert a penalty.

After a quiet start to the game, Blues came close to opening the scoring in the 31st minutes when a fantastic right wing cross from Kevan Hurst picked out Will Atkinson but his close range header was pushed on to the right post by visiting goalkeeper Pidgeley.

Moments later, the County custodian then also did well to push Barry Corr’s effort, from a narrow angle, wide of the same upright for a corner before he impressively tipped a deflected Lee Barnard header past the opposite post.

That ensured the first half ended goalless and, in a bid to make a breakthrough, Blues made their first change of the night during the break as Anthony Straker came on for Barry Corr.

But, with 52 minutes on the clock, Newport wasted a golden chance to score when referee James Linington pointed to the penalty spot after Mark Phillips had hauled down Ryan Burge inside the area.

However, Willmot could only send his effort embarrassingly high and wide of the North Bank net.

Newport continued to enjoy more of the ball after the wasted opportunity and that prompted the Shrimpers in to making a second change on the hour mark as Freddy Eastwood replaced Barnard in attack.

And, in the 66th minute, the Shrimpers almost went in front when a 25 yard shot from Michael Timlin skimmed just inches wide of the right post.

But that proved to be the final excitement of the game as neither side were unable to make a late breakthrough.