Luke Prosser buried a last-minute equaliser against his former club to earn Southend a point with a 1-1 draw at Port Vale.
Lee Collins failed to make his clearance and left-back Prosser was on hand to lash the loose ball into the net from point blank range and place a large dent in Vale's hopes of making the play-offs.
The visitors had been the most threatening side in the first-half, but it was Vale who scored the only goal with a 24th-minute cracker from Rob Taylor.
A left-wing cross from Doug Loft was only partially cleared and Taylor drove an unstoppable half-volley past Glenn Morris from 20 yards.
Southend were unfortunate to fall behind after Sean Clohessy had fired against the outside of a post and they almost equalised when Barry Corr's overhead kick missed by inches.
Both sides struggled for supremacy throughout an uninspiring second-half, although Gareth Owen almost put Vale two-up with a snap shot which flew narrowly over the bar.
But Prosser, who was released by Vale last summer, inflicted a potentially fatal blow on his old club's promotion ambitions with his last gasp leveller.
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms