Date: 12th October 2008 at 6:35pm
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Supersub Leon McSweeney scored a wondergoal to give County a good point at Roots Hall to keep the Hatters unbeaten away record alive.

Jim Gannon made three changes to the County side that lost to League Two Bury in the JPT Second Round on Tuesday night.

New defensive signings Jaroslaw Fojut and Tony Kane were thrown straight into the County side at the expense of Michael Rose and Johnny Mullins, who had both been ineffective of late.

Michael Raynes returned to skipper the side again after he sat out of the Bury game on Tuesday night.

Former skipper Gaz Owen didn’t even travel with the squad.

Loan keeper Fraser Forster made his first ever league appearance as both Owain fon Williams and Peter Thompson were away on international duty.

County looked bright in the opening exchanges, and Anthony Pilkington (still to get off the mark this season) curled a left footed strike just past the goal from about 20 yards out.

Southend looked good on the counter though, and former Spurs striker Lee Barnard was getting in behind on a few occasions.

The defeence looked shaky, maybe it was taking time to gel with the two ne boys in. But Southend took advantage and it was Barnard who gave them a lead in the 19th minute of the game.

New lad Jaroslaw Fojut will be disappointed with his defending for the goal. On loan keeper Adam Federici punted it long, and Fojut was easily turned by Barnard who then slid it past Forster in the County goal.

Route one football. Easy as that for Southend.

County did force their way back into the game though, and an the half hour mark Fojut had the chance to atone for his error. Tommy Rowe swung a dangerous ball into the box but the Polish defender headed wide of the mark.

Stpehen Gleeson then fired just past the post, and Gleeson turned provider a minute later but Tommy Rowe’s shot was straight at Federici.

Yet again, dangerman Carl Baker was introduced at half time as County looked to get a foothold on the game.

Similar to Oldham last Friday night, County came out in the second half firing on all cylinders, and Anthony Pilkington was yet again unlucky as he brought a smart diving save from Federici.

County looked stronger and stronger, and Leon McSweeney, who could count himself unlucky not to start, was introduced to the game on the hour mark.

And how. With his first touch, the Irishman played in Gleeson down the right hand side.

Gleeson beat his man, but the ball rebounded out to McSweeney – who was stood about 28 yards from goal.

The wing back (first time) smashed the ball towards Federici’s goal, and it dipped and swerved before flying into the back of the net.

What an impact from McSweeney!

McSweeney then had a hand in the next passage of play. He beat a few men, and as he looked to nutmeg Dan Harding he was hacked down by the midfielder who was duly sent from the field of play.

A straight red for the on loan Ipswich man.

County could not capitalise on the numerical advantage though, and the game petered out into a 1-1 draw.

A good point away from home, ro should County have pressed on and made their advantage count? You add your thoughts below!