SOUTHEND United fought back twice to secure a 2-2 draw with fellow strugglers MK Dons at Roots Hall this afternoon.

Jason Demetriou and Rob Kiernan both bagged equalisers for Blues in their final outing of 2019.

But, with Tom Hopper and Stephen Humphrys both wasting fantastic chances to score, the Shrimpers were unable to claim their first League win since beating Dons back in September.

Dons went in front after 13 minutes when a low shot from Connor McGrandles rolled across the face of goal and enabled Joe Mason to tap the ball home at the far post as Southend conceded their 100th goal of 2019.

Moments later, McGrandles downward header was well held by the recalled Mark Oxley before Blues hit back with Humphrys sending a well-struck shot over the crossbar from 25 yards.

Elvis Bwomono then sliced an effort wide of the right post from the edge of the penalty area before the Shrimpers drew back level in the 32nd minute, with Demetriou on target from the penalty spot.

Referee Neil Hair pointed to the spot after Blues striker Humphrys had been brought down by Dons goalkeeper Lee Nicholls.

And Demetriou made the most of the opportunity as he rolled his penalty into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

The Shrimpers remained on top with Humphrys having a well struck shot parried out by Nicholls who then also held on to a close range volley from the striker.

Mark Milligan then saw a 20 yard shot smothered by Nicholls before the visitors hit back just before the break with Sam Nombe having a close range effort diverted wide of the right post by Oxley.

At the start of the second half, Dons saw penalty shouts for a challenge on Mason waved away by the officials before Blues wasted a huge chance to take the lead when Sam Mantom teed up Tom Hopper only for the unmarked forward to fire wide of the right post from 12 yards.

With the Shrimpers remaining on the attack, John White then headed Mantom’s left wing corner inches wide of the right post before Demetriou’s 25 yard shot flew just past the opposite upright.

But, after surviving the scares, Dons regained the lead in the 64th minute when a goalmouth scramble resulted in a fine save from Oxley hitting Rhys Healey and rolling into the back of the net, despite the best efforts of a sliding Bwomono.

However, the Shrimpers were behind for just two minutes as they drew back level when Mantom’s inviting left wing corner was headed home by Kiernan.

Blues then wasted a superb chance to take the lead when Humphrys’ point blank header from Hopper’s right wing cross was well saved by Nicholls.

Dons soon replied with Mason’s racing onto McLaughlin’s blocked clearance only to see his effort blocked by Oxley before Dieng cleared the rebound off the goal-line.

Blues boss Sol Campbell responded by bringing on Charlie Kelman in place of Humphrys in the 81st minute while Brandon Goodship also replaced McLaughlin at the death.

But the Shrimpers were unable to bag a late winner and they remain second from bottom in the standings, 12 points from safety.