Gills and United share spoils


The Gills threw everything forward after the break but failed to make their supremacy count as they were held by Paul Sturrock’s battlers.

Jack Payne created the home side’s first chance after five minutes when his huge throw from the right-hand side was met by McDonald, whose acrobatic effort was palmed away by Southend goalkeeper Glenn Morris.

Having survived that early scare, Southend began to impose themselves on the game and in the 37th minute Blair Sturrock found Josh Simpson in space on the right-hand side, but he blazed harmlessly over from 18 yards.

Gillingham started the second half the strongest with McDonald firing wide twice in the opening five minutes.

Akinfenwa came closest to breaking the deadlock after 70 minutes, firing inches wide from 20 yards after good work from substitute Luke Rooney.

Moments later Palmer was denied by Morris from 25 yards as Southend held firm for a point.