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.
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