Rovers had to settle for another draw on a frustrating night at the Keepmoat.
The last time these two sides met, in 2008, James Coppinger sent Rovers on their way to Wembley with a perfect hat trick. But there was precious little quality on show as Rovers and Southend cancelled each other out.
Bar Harry Forrester’s bizarre strike against Bury on the opening day, Doncaster remain without a goal from open play this season. Rovers also failed to live up to the standards they set at Wigan on Sunday. They were poor before the break as they struggled for tempo and failed to trouble Daniel Bentley in the Southend goal.
They probed more in the second half but Southend pressed and harried and deserved a point. They could have gone ahead within 60 seconds when centre back Cian Bolger got above his man but headed Kevan Hurst’s corner over from point blank range. The visitors went on to enjoy the better of the opening exchanges. Hurst and then David Worrall forced Thorsten Stuckmann into saves.
It took until midway through the half for Doncaster to threaten, a quick break led to Harry Forrester letting fly from the edge of the box but his effort was deflected wide.
Rovers wrestled back some momentum but it was all too brief; neither side were exerting any sort of control.
Stuckmann had been the busier of the two keepers. David Mooney, Shrimpers’ lone striker, was given too much time but his effort from 25 yards was dealt with by the German.
Rovers fans were frustrated and the half time whistle was met with boos from sections of the home support. On the restart, just like they did in the first half, the Shrimpers went close from a corner as Michael Timlin sent a ball back in which arched just wide.
Rovers responded by releasing Richie Wellens into space but he chose to cross when a shot was on.
Richard Chaplow replaced Harry Middleton and moments after Hurst cut in from the left and shot wide; and the change seemed to inject a bit of intensity.
With the Black Bank in fine voice, Andy Williams almost latched onto a long Stuckmann clearance before Coppinger saw a shot from distance deflected wide.
Rovers were getting into better areas and probing more. Some trickery from Forrester on the left saw his cross cleared from underneath the bar. Chaplow then saw his low effort palmed away by Bentley before Forrester blazed the rebound over.
With the game becoming stretched, Stuckmann produced a stunning save to keep out Timlin’s half volley at one end before Bentley held onto Main’s long range shot at the other. It was the away side that finished the stronger and Joe Pigott wasted a gilt-edge chance on the counter when, one on one with Stuckmann, his lob sailed over the bar.
Man of the match Stuckmann made another impressive stop from Worrall, while Curtis Main poked one just wide for Rovers.