Hurst keeps Shrimpers in hunt
Kevan Hurst's eighth goal of the season secured Southend a 1-1 draw against fellow play-off chasers Rochdale at Roots Hall.
The in-form Shrimpers winger lashed home a well-struck 16-yard shot on the stroke of half-time to ensure a mostly uneventful encounter ended all-square.
Rochdale opened the scoring after 14 minutes when Jamie Allen reacted sharply to Ian Henderson's blocked shot and fired a well-struck effort in to the top corner of the net via the underside of the crossbar.
A stunning double goal-line clearance from Luke Prosser then stopped Rochdale making it 2-0 as the defender somehow kept out efforts from both Scott Hogan and Henderson in quick succession.
Southend made the most of the let-off by equalising in the 45th minute when Hurst collected a pass from Michael Timlin and fired home from inside the penalty area.
The Shrimpers then came close to winning the game eight minutes from time when Barry Corr headed a left-wing cross from Timlin against the top of the crossbar.