SOUTHEND United ended their 101 year long stay in the Football League with a 1-1 draw against Newport County at Roots Hall this afternoon.

Shaun Hobson’s early opener for the Shrimpers was cancelled out by a second half equaliser from the visitors’ Mickey Demetriou.

And Blues wasted a golden chance to go back in front with Matt Rush seeing a penalty saved by Tom King.

Southend were forced into an early substitution after just seven minutes with Harry Kyprianou taking the place of the injured Sam Hart at left-back.

Moments after the change, striker Greg Halford saw a half volleyed pushed to safety by Newport goalkeeper Tom King.

But, with 11 minutes in the clock Blues went in front, with Hobson on target.

The defender reacted sharply after a half cleared left-wing cross from Terrell Egbri and sent a low, left footed shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net from 12 yards.

The Shrimpers soon wasted a superb chance to double their lead with Halford somehow sending a right wing cross from Elvis Bwomono over the crossbar from inside the six yard box.

And, at the start of the second half, Rush also wasted a good chance to score as his effort from Halford’s right wing cross was saved by King.

Newport hit back with Josh Sheehan having a well-struck 25 yard free-kick well saved by Mark Oxley but the visitors drew back level in the 56th minute when a long throw from Aaron Lewis was headed home by Demetriou.

Blues rallied well after being pegged back and wasted a golden chance to regain the lead in the 61st minute when referee John Brooks awarded them a fortuitous spot-kick after somehow deciding to penalise Liam Shephard.

However, Blues could not make the most of the opportunity as Rush saw his spot-kick – sent to the right hand side – pushed away be King.

In a further bid to improve the Shrimpers made a double change in the 83rd minute with Brandon Goodship replacing Rush and Reeco Hackett-Fairchild taking the place of James Olayinka.

Youngster Oli Coker then also replaced Egbri late on but the final match of the season was to end all square.