AN eventful week for Southend United ended with a drab 0-0 draw against fellow strugglers Tranmere Rovers at Roots Hall.

The Shrimpers hit the headlines in the build up to the game due to delayed wages paid to their players.

But there was little in the way of excitement once the game got underway as Blues were held to their first goalless draw since facing Oxford United in October 2018.

Before the game started, the Shrimpers remembered their former skipper Chris Barker – who died aged just 39 on New Year’s Day – with a minute’s silence.

But it was Tranmere who threatened first as Neil Danns saw an early effort pushed wide of the left post by Mark Oxley before the visitors’ Kieron Morris dragged a low effort wide of the opposite upright.

Blues replied with Stephen Humphrys having a long range effort collected by a relieved Aaron Chapman following a poor clearance from the Rovers goalkeeper.

The shaky looking Chapman soon took centre stage again when his challenge on Tom Hopper led to the Shrimpers screaming for a penalty but referee Alan Young opted to wave play on.

With play soon switching back to the other end of the field, Oxley then rushed off his line to stop Morris scoring in the closing action of the first half.

After the break, Blues’ Stephen McLaughlin curled a 25 yard free-kick wide of the left post before Tom Hopper headed Sam Mantom’s left wing corner over the crossbar.

The visitors hit back with Danns firing inches wide of the left post from the edge of the penalty before Southend responded with Stephen Humphrys firing straight at Chapman from a narrow angle.

Blues then came even closer to scoring when Stephen McLaughlin swapped passes with Mantom before seeing his low shot hit the inside of Chapman's leg and flew across the face of goal.

Moments later, Humphrys made way for Charlie Kelman in the 75th minute before Sam Barratt took the place of Jason Demetriou late on.

But Blues were unable to find a late winner as they were held to their fifth draw in seven games.