Daniel Bentley blunder costs Southend win at Gillingham
A calamitous late error from Southend goalkeeper Daniel Bentley prevented Gillingham suffering their first home defeat of the season after a 1-1 draw at the Priestfield Stadium.
The Shrimpers went in front after just 11 minutes when Stephen McLaughlin netted with a well-taken lob.
But the Gills bagged a fortunate equaliser in the last minute when Doug Loft's long ball forward was completely misjudged by Bentley and flew into the net.
Southend went close to scoring early on when a low drive from Anthony Wordsworth was gathered by keeper Stuart Nelson at the second attempt.
However, Phil Brown's side were not to be denied for long and they went in front when McLaughlin was sent clean through by a fine header from Joe Pigott and netted with an excellent lob.
Southend had strong shouts for a penalty turned down when David Mooney went down in the box while under pressure from John Egan.
But table-topping Gills were able to hit back right at the death when Loft's hopeful ball forward somehow evaded Bentley and flew into the back of the net.