JAMES Dunne atoned for an earlier error to secure 10 man Southend United a 1-1 draw with Torquay United at Roots Hall yesterday.

Dunne was at fault for Torquay’s opener – scored by Chiori Johnson – before popping up to score a well-taken equaliser in the second half.

And Dunne’s leveller, in the final game of the Shrimpers’ season, came after the hosts had been reduced to 10 men following a red card for skipper Jason Demetriou.

Torquay were on top early on with Connor Lemonheigh-Evans having an early effort scrambled off the line by Harrison Neal before Danny Wright sent a 20 yard shot against the outside of the right post.

Moments later, Wright sent another effort into the side-netting before Johnson fired over from just inside the penalty area.

In reply, Callum Powell darted in from the left hand side and fired wide of the left post before Blues came even closer to breaking the deadlock just before the break with Demetriou seeing a close range effort saved by Torquay goalkeeper Mark Halstead.

Powell then saw a goalbound effort blocked in front of goal by his strike partner Sam Dalby before the Gulls went in front deep into first half stoppage time following a mistake from James Dunne.

The Shrimpers midfielder lost the ball to Johnson who then sprinted clean through on goal and beat the advancing Steve Arnold with an assured close range finish.

After the break, Leon Davies saw a firm header well held by Halstead before Powell fired over from 20 yards.

However, the Shrimpers’ hopes of getting back into the game suffered a huge hit in the 57th minute when Demetriou was shown a straight red card for a poorly timed challenge on Ben Wynter.

The 10 men Blues replied with Dalby having a close range header well held by Halstead before the home-side came even closer to an equaliser as a scorching long range shot from Harrison Neal clipped the top of the crossbar.

Torquay soon responded with Johnson sending a 12 yard header straight at Arnold but, after surviving the scare, the Shrimpers drew back level in the 76th minute with Dunne firing home a well-taken effort.

The midfielder rushed onto the ball just inside the penalty area and scored with an accurate left footed shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net.

After drawing back level the Shrimpers made two late changes with John White coming on to a huge ovation in what is likely to be his last game for the club.

Jack Wood was also introduced in midfield as Blues dug deep to secure a point and a 13th placed finish in the table.

Southend United: Arnold, Davies (White 89), Hobson, Kensdale, Gubbins, Demetriou, Dunne, Neal, Bridge (Atkinson 85), Powell (Wood 90), Dalby.

Subs not used: Clifford & Coker.