CHARLIE Kelman’s stoppage time penalty saw Southend United start 2020 with a 1-1 draw at AFC Wimbledon this afternoon.

The struggling Shrimpers seemed to be heading for another defeat when Callum Reilly fired the Dons in front.

But substitute Kelman’s injury time effort saw Sol Campbell’s side secure a share of the spoils.

Blues looked to break the deadlock early on with Stephen Humphrys sending a 20 yard shot straight at Dons goalkeeper Nathan Trott before the hosts hit back with Jack Rudoni sending a long-range effort inches just wide of the left post.

Moments later, Marcus Forss curled an effort wide of the opposite upright from 20 yards before the hosts opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with Reilly on target.

The Irishman cut in off the left flank and, with Blues backing off, he curled a right footed shot into the top right hand corner of the net from 20 yards.

In reply, the Shrimpers’ Stephen McLaughlin sent a well struck volley just wide of the right post from 25 yards after Sam Mantom’s left wing corner had been cleared into his path.

With play soon switching to the other end of the field, Forss then saw an effort smartly saved by Mark Oxley in the closing action of an uneventful first half.

In a bid to get back into the game, Blues boss Sol Campbell made a change at the break with Isaac Hutchinson coming on to replace Eren Kinali who was handed the first senior start of his career.

The Shrimpers initially threatened with Mantom having a 20 yard shot deflected onto the roof of the net before the visitors survived a goalmouth scramble with Rob Kiernan and Elvis Bwomono both making fine blocks and Oxley producing a fine save.

With Dons continuing to push for a second goal, former Blues striker Joe Pigott sent a header just wide of the left post from 12 yards.

But the Shrimpers soon replied with Hutchinson having a close range effort kept out after a fine right wing cross from Jason Demetriou was diverted into his path.

In a further bid to get back into the game, Blues made their second change of the afternoon in the 74th minute with Charlie Kelman replacing Humphrys.

After the alteration, McLaughlin saw a low free-kick pushed to safety by Trott before the Shrimpers made their final change with the fit-again Sam Barratt taking the place of Demetriou for his first appearance since suffering a cruciate ligament at the start of last season.

And the Shrimpers were able to rescue a late leveller with Kelman winning and converting a penalty.

The youngster was brought down by Terrell Thomas in the box and saw his penalty go under the body of Trott as Blues bagged just their ninth point of the season.