Stanley picked up a valuable point against a Southend side chasing promotion thanks to a 1-1 draw at the Store First Stadium.

The Reds led through an own goal from Mark Phillips before Luke Prosser levelled for the Shrimpers.

A Stanley side showing one change, with Michael Richardson in for James Gray, started brightly with George Bowerman heading straight at Dan Bentley from Nicky Hunt’s long throw before both Richardson and Kal Naismith were unable to get efforts on target.

The visitors’ best opening came in the 18th minute when Anthony Straker counter attacked and squared to Michael Timlin and his left foot shot was turned around the post by Andrew Dawber, who then punched clear the resulting corner.

The closing quarter of the half belonged to the Reds, with Naismith close to a sixth goal in seven games when he rose to meet Richardson’s cross but could only guide the ball wide.

The best opening fell to Bowerman though, the former Walsall man getting the ball on the right inside the area after Richardson broke away only to see his first effort parried by Bentley and a second fly off target.

From the restart Phil Brown’s visitors were on the front foot, with Dawber denying Timlin when the midfielder was through one on one inside the area.

The Reds remained a threat after the break though, with Richardson shooting straight at Bentley after a fine run from Bowerman and Piero Mingoia seeing a venemous strike blocked behind for a corner.

It was James Beattie’s side who edged ahead in the 62nd minute; Lee Naylor’s right wing free kick caused chaos in the box and defender Phillips guided the ball into his own net to break the deadlock.

The goal prompted a response from the visitors who poured forwards in search of a leveller. Dawber was at his best to parry a header from sub Barry Corr with 74 minutes gone but he could do nothing four minutes later when the visitors did equalise.

Kevan Hurst’s corner from the left flew onto the head of Prosser and the centre back nodded past Dawber from close range to restore parity.

Stanley sub Gray went close to restoring their lead after a quicksilver counter but though his left foot shot beat Bentley it also flew wide of the post.

Dawber was then called into action to turn a striker from Phillips round the post as the defender looked to attone for his earlier error as the two teams were forced to settle for a point each.

Stanley: Dawber, Hunt, Winnard, Aldred, Naylor, Richardson, Joyce, Murphy, Mingoia, Naismith, Bowerman (Gray 76)