Ian Goodison's second-half equaliser secured a valuable 1-1 draw for struggling Tranmere at Southend.

The Shrimpers took the lead through Scott Vernon's 15th-minute penalty, but Goodison struck to earn Rovers a point three minutes into the second half.

Vernon opened the scoring from the spot with his first goal for Southend after Francis Laurent had been brought down by Zoumana Bakayogo.

Neither goalkeeper was seriously tested in the remainder of the half, but Southend should have doubled their advantage in stoppage-time when Simon Francis' free-kick was headed over from six yards by Francis Laurent.

The hosts were punished for not taking their chance shortly after the interval when Paul McLaren's corner from the left was volleyed in by Gareth Edds for Goodison to shoot into the top right corner from close range.

And only a fine one-handed save from Southend keeper Steve Mildenhall stopped Ian Thomas-Moore from adding a second for Rovers five minutes later.

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