ROTHERHAM United were forced to settle for a share of the spoils against a Southend side that were left celebrating their first home point in three months.
After Rob Kiernan’s own goal gave the Millers a first-half lead, Sol Campbell’s strugglers forged 2-1 in front early in the second period before the visitors struck back courtesy of Freddie Ladapo’s sixth goal in four away games.
Kiernan put through the home net on the half-hour after Jake Hastie’s corner had provoked panic and led to a scramble in the Shrimpers’ penalty box.
But a Chiedozie Ogbene handball gave Jason Demetriou the chance to level from the spot on 49 minutes and the hosts were ahead following the game’s next attack when Sam Mantom emphatically beat Daniel Iversen in a one-on-one situation.
Paul Warne’s men scrambled in a second goal, however, when Michael Ihiekwe and Clark Robertson combined to tee up Ladapo for the equaliser after a Hastie shot had smacked back into play off the crossbar.
The point proved enough to lift Rotherham into the play-off positions, but only after Stephen McLaughlin’s effort had clipped the frame of the goal for the spirited home side.
Warne admitted he welcomed the point more than he might have done prior to kick-off.
“If you asked me before the game, would I have taken a point the answer would have been not really,” he reasoned.
“I came here for three points, but at 2-1 down better teams than us would collapse and we didn’t.”
Southend United: Bishop, Bwomono, Kiernan, Dieng, Lennon, McLaughlin (Cox 83), Demetriou, Mantom (Hutchinson 75), Milligan, Goodship (Ndukwu 87), Humphrys. Unused substitutes: Oxley, Hamilton, Rush, Kinali.
Rotherham United: Iversen, Olosunde, Ihiekwe, Robertson, Mattock, Ogbene, Barlaser, Wiles, Hastie, Ladapo, Smith (Morris 77). Unused substitutes: MacDonald, Thompson, Vassell, Price, Clarke, Lamy.
Referee: C Breakspear (Surrey).