SOUTHEND United were held to a second successive 0-0 draw as their rearranged clash at Rochdale ended goalless tonight.

The Shrimpers had been looking to bounce back to winning ways following Saturday’s stalemate with Doncaster Rovers.

But Chris Powell’s side were unable to work their way onto the score-sheet as Blues recorded back to back 0-0 draws for the first time since March 2014.

Relegation threatened Rochdale had the better of the first half and came close to breaking the deadlock in the 18th minute when Andrew Cannon headed Scott Wiseman’s right wing cross wide of the left post.

Moments later, a well struck low shot from Ian Henderson was parried to safety by Shrimpers goalkeeper Mark Oxley before Blues hit back with Marc-Antoine Fortune selfishly firing into the side-netting from a narrow angle with Anthony Wordsworth and Michael Kightly both in good positions inside the penalty area.

Dale soon replied with Bradden Inman having a powerful 20 yard shot pushed away by Oxley before a dangerous right wing cross from Stephen Humphrys flew across the face of goal.

With the hosts remaining on top, Henderson then headed Inman’s accurate delivery over the crossbar from 10 yards in the closing action of the first half.

At the start of the second period and, in a bid to get into the game, Blues switched from a 4-3-3 formation to 4-4-2 with Shayon Harrison moving into a central striking role alongside Fortune.

The alterations also saw Wordsworth move out onto the left flank but it was still Dale who stayed on top with Oxley doing well to bravely deny the dangerous Henderson.

After surviving the scare, play soon switched back to the other end of the field where strong shouts for a penalty following a Ryan Delaney challenge on Fortune were waved away by referee Eddie Ilderton.

The frustrated Shrimpers stayed on the front foot and, in the 65th minute, they registered their first shot on target as a swerving long range shot from Wordsworth was saved by Dale goalkeeper Josh Lillis.

In a further bid to make a breakthrough, Blues boss Powell made his first change of the night just two minutes later with Stephen McLaughlin replacing Harrison before Freddie Ladapo took the place of Fortune in the 83rd minute.

However, the Shrimpers rarely threatened and were forced to settle for a share of the spoils as they failed to score for the third game in succession.