ACCRINGTON Stanley blew a great chance to give themselves breathing space above the League Two relegation places when they were held to a 1-1 draw by 10-man Southend this afternoon.

After a goalless first period which was dominated by the Reds, Stanley led through James Gray's smart strike.

It looked as though the Reds would be able to hold on or even add to their tally, especially after Southend's Ryan Cresswell was sent off for grabbing Gray around the neck as the pair tussled in the technical area.

But with time running out Kevan Hurst's long-range drive beat Paul Rachubka to earn the Shrimpers a point.