SOUTHEND United were held to a drab 0-0 draw at relegation rivals Stevenage this afternoon.

The two teams started the afternoon in League Two’s drop zone.

And this encounter showed why as attacking quality was in short supply.

Blues started brightly with Emile Acquah sending an early effort wide of the left post from 20 yards before Brandon Goodship saw a well struck shot tipped over by Stevenage goalkeeper Jamie Cumming.

From the resulting Tom Clifford corner Richard Taylor headed wide of the left post from close range.

But, with 22 minutes on the clock, Blues were forced into making their first change of the afternoon as Clifford limped off injured and was replaced at left-back by Harry Kyprianou.

The remainder of the first half petered out before the hosts came close to breaking the deadlock in the 50th minute as Tyrone Marsh slammed a 20 yard shot against the top of the crossbar.

Blues replied with Alan McCormack having a long range effort smothered by Cumming before the Shrimpers made their second change of the afternoon in the 78th minute as Terrell Egbri replaced Taylor.

Ten minutes after the change, Goodship flashed an effort wide of the right post and McCormack then did likewise with a powerful volley from 25 yards.

Egbri then dragged a low shot wide of the left post when James Olayinka was unmarked in the area to his left hand side and, right at the death, McCormack was unable to pick up a team-mate following a poor backpass right into his path in front of goal.