SOUTHEND United were held to a third successive 0-0 draw at Roots Hall this afternoon after being held by play-off rivals Plymouth Argyle.

The Shrimpers handed a debut to new loan signing Joe Pigott who went straight in to the side after joining from Charlton Athletic.

But Phil Brown’s side were still unable to make the breakthrough.

Pigott was immediately involved in the opening exchanges when he teed up Ryan Leonard who volleyed wide of the right post from 10 yards against his former team.

But Plymouth soon hit back and should have opened the scoring when Lewis Alessandra charged through on goal only to see his low shot blocked by the legs of Blues goalkeeper Daniel Bentley.

Moments later, Bentley also did well to deny Argyle’s Andy Kellett, after the visiting left wing back had twisted past Adam Thompson twice inside the penalty area.

However, Southend replied with Pigott heading a drilled right wing cross from David Worrall in to the grateful gloves of Argyle goalkeeper Luke McCormick.

After the break, Pigott swapped passes with Jack Payne before shooting wide of the right post from 25 yards.

With the Shrimpers continuing to attack, Shaq Coulthirst then cut in off the left flank before seeing his well struck shot impressively saved by Plymouth goalkeeper Luke McCormick low down to his left hand side.

With 63 minutes on the clock, Coulthirst was again involved when he charged forward and ignored some well positioned team-mates before shooting straight at McCormick from 12 yards.

Seven minutes later, Southend made their first change of the game with Myles Weston coming on to replace Payne.

But it was Plymouth who came closest to scoring late on when Tom Flanagan flicked a low shot from Andy Kellett against the top of the crossbar from close range.