Yeovil Town earned a valuable point this afternoon in a battling 0-0 draw against struggling Southend United.
After a scrappy, tight affair in the first half, the Glovers had the better of the second period and were denied all three points late on when former Yeovil keeper Steve Mildenhall made two fine saves in the last five minutes.
Boss Terry Skiverton was forced into two changes through injury. Striker Sam Williams and Jean-Paul Kalala missed out through knee and hip injuries respectively and were replaced by Aidan Downes and Keiran Murtagh. Arron Davies dropped out of the squad altogether as the unlucky sixth loanee.
The first half of the period was almost forgettable save for the odd flash of excitement here and there. On seven minutes, the small band of travelling Glovers believed they had a shout for a penalty when ex-Glover Jean-Francois Christophe nudged Dean Bowditch but referee Russell Booth saw nothing untoward with the challenge.
Southend's midfield general Alan McCormack saw his shot deflected and gathered by Glovers keeper Alex McCarthy on sixteen minutes and McCarthy then had to deny Scott Vernon four minutes later.
The Shrimpers were looking most threatening from the Rory Delap-like throws from Johnny Herd and three throws in quick succession looked to cause problems in the Yeovil defence.
With ten minutes of the first half left, Yeovil left back Nathan Smith made a brilliant back post interception tackle on Vernon to prevent an almost certain goal.
In an even first period, Terrell Forbes went close twice in a matter of seconds from a Scott Davies corner but was penalised for pushing after the second attempt.
Ex-Yeovil keeper Steve Mildenhall had to be alert to tip a Murtagh chip over the bar and Gavin Tomlin couldn't quite connect properly with his overhead kick and his effort lacked power.
Two minutes remained when Tomlin turned his marker well and was away before being pulled back by Antony Grant who earned a yellow card for his foul and the home defender was lucky not to see a second yellow within two minutes when his theatrical dive in the Yeovil penalty area went unpunished by referee Booth.
There was little to write home about in the first quarter of the second half until Tomlin volleyed well over after creating himself some space inside the box. His captain, Craig Alcock, brilliantly blocked Scott Malone's effort as the Shrimpers made a foray forward.
It was Malone's last action as he was soon replaced by Francis Laurent in a double change from Steve Tillson. Scott Spencer also departed with Matthew Paterson coming on for him.
The Glovers also made an alteration with winger Andy Welsh coming on for the tiring Aidan Downes.
Yeovil were the more impressive side as the half drew on with Tomlin and Forbes going close and Dean Bowditch robbed as he was about to pull the trigger.
Terry Skiverton made his second change replacing Keiran Murtagh with teenage debutant Luke Ayling; the loan signing from Arsenal dropping into central midfield as a straight swap.
The final ten minutes of action saw the home fans holler their frustration as the away side looked the likelier to snatch a winner. Shaun MacDonald's shot was blocked by Adam Barrett and Bowditch seemed to have half a shout for a penalty when a defensive sliding challenge came in on him.
Welsh cut inside and hit a right foot shot that Mildenhall did well to get down to and the big keeper denied Nathan Smith a rare goal when his drive was saved too. In the last minute, Tomlin unleashed a spectacular 25-yard effort that curled wide of the far post.
Despite the pressure, a point was the sum total of the team's efforts and it represents a point where maybe three were deserved. However plenty of optimism after this result and just two days until Leeds, 3-0 losers at home to Swindon today, come to town.