Jack Payne spares Southend's blushes
Jack Payne spared Southend's blushes with an injury time penalty against Sky Bet League One second-bottom Crewe who forced a 1-1 draw at Roots Hall.
The play-off chasing Shrimpers appeared to heading for a shock defeat when George Cooper fired home a fine free-kick just four minutes from time.
But Payne made sure the clash ended 1-1 with a well taken spot-kick four minutes into stoppage time.
Crewe wasted a fine chance to go in front midway through the first half when Marcus Haber's close range header from James Jones' left wing free-kick was impressively saved by Southend goalkeeper Daniel Bentley before Ben Nugent somehow fired the rebound over from inside the six yard box.
However, Southend wasted a clearer opportunity to score in the 41st minute when Tyrone Barnett's tame penalty was saved by Crewe goalkeeper Ben Garratt.
The miss increased in significance when Cooper netted from 25 yards in the 86th minute.
But Payne's late strike made sure of a share of the spoils for the Shrimpers who remain eight in the League One standings, just a point below the play-off positions.