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Southend United 1, Hartlepool United 1
SOUTHEND United striker Barry Corr caught the eye for all the right reasons just before the break against Hartlepool United at Roots Hall tonight, but his effort was only enough to secure a 1-1 draw.
Corr was dismissed at the end of the first half when Blues did battle with the Monkeyhangers away from home in August.
However, his well taken effort was cancelled out by Hartlepool’s Bradley Walker as the Shrimpers’ winless streak was extended to six matches.
The game again got off to a quiet start before Hartlepool registered the first shot on target in the 13th minute when Walker’s well struck effort from the edge of the penalty area was smothered by Blues goalkeeper Daniel Bentley.
In reply, the Shrimpers then came even closer to opening the scoring when the recalled Anthony Straker headed a right wing cross from John White against the underside of the crossbar from 16 yards.
Having survived the scare, the visitors soon had strong shouts for a penalty turned down when Luke James went to ground inside the area while under pressure from Adam Thompson.
And, in the 21st minute, Blues had another let off when Hartlepool left-back Darren Holden teed up Walker for an excellent opportunity but the winger’s low shot was impressively kept out by Bentley.
That missed increased in significance with 43rd minutes on the clock when Southend took the lead, with Corr bagging his seventh goal of the season.
The Irish striker was picked out at the near post by a low, left wing cross from Kevan Hurst and delicately flicked the ball in to the bottom right hand corner of the North Bank net.
The goal came after Corr had gone five matches without hitting the back of the net and put Blues ahead at the break.
At the start of the second half, Hartlepool hit back with former West Ham United striker Marlon Harewood having a deflected 20 yard shot easily saved Bentley.
But Blues then hit back and almost doubled their lead in the 53rd minute when Ben Coker’s right wing corner picked out Adam Thompson only for the defender to have his six yard header saved by visiting goalkeeper Scott Flinders.
The Shrimpers soon went close to scoring again when Anthony Straker saw his powerful effort from a narrow angle parried to safety by Flinders and the failure to grab a second goal came back to haunt the hosts as Hartlepool equalised in the 59th minute, with Walker on target.
The winger latched on to a loose attempted clearance from Michael Timlin before sending a brilliant 20 yard volley in to the back of the net.
After a nervy initial reaction, Blues almost regained the lead when a low shot from Hurst was somehow blocked on the line by sliding defender Darren Holden.
In a bid to get back in front, Shrimpers boss Phil Brown made his first change of the night in the 71st minute as Freddy Eastwood came off the bench to replace Straker and make his 200th appearance for the club.
But it was Hartlepool who still threatened next as their top goalscorer Luke James broke free before having a swerving shot tipped wide of the post by Bentley.
However, that was as close as either team came to bagging a late winner as they game ended all square.