Play-off chasing Southend were held by out-of-form Torquay, who remain winless under interim manager Alan Knill.
Freddie Eastwood cut in from the right to fire home his fourth goal of the season and put the Shrimpers ahead after only nine minutes.
But on-loan Joss Labadie tapped in from Jordan Chappell's cross - his second goal in three games - to level matters
The hosts had the better of a scrappy second period, but both Ben Reeves and Kevan Hurst saw their efforts saved.
The result means Southend are now six points off the play-off places, while Torquay, without a win in 11, lie 20th but are level on points with bottom club Accrington.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Southend United manager Paul Sturrock told BBC Essex:
"It was a much better performance than we've been serving up here (at Roots Hall) in the last two or three games.
"I'm a bit disappointed we didn't take the three points, we had two real gilt-edged chances in the second half that we should have done better with.
"A settled team is a winning team, and at this moment we are chopping and changing through necessity near enough every week."
"I'm frustrated. I do feel there are a lot of contributing factors to how we've been suffering result-wise lately."
Torquay United manager Alan Knill told BBC Radio Devon:
"On the whole, the performance was as good as I've had since I've been in charge.
"I thought we looked a threat today and as long as we've got that it gives us a great chance.
"It was a good team performance and that's what it's about. We had that on Tuesday, which I thought set a benchmark for us to reach and I thought we had that again today.
"At the end of the game I thought we had as many chances as them, created as many chances as them and looked as dangerous as they did."
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.90:00 +5:10
Damon Lathrope takes a shot. Kevan Hurst gets a block in. Corner taken by Lee Mansell from the left by-line played to the near post.90:00 +4:19
Lloyd Macklin takes a shot. Blocked by Tamika Mkandawire. Lee Mansell takes the outswinging corner, Kevan Hurst manages to make a clearance.90:00 +2:57
Brian Saah challenges Anthony Straker unfairly and gives away a free kick. Daniel Bentley restarts play with the free kick.90:00 +2:22
Foul by Britt Assombalonga on Angus MacDonald, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Angus MacDonald.90:00 +1:45
The referee blows for offside against Bilel Mohsni. Direct free kick taken by Michael Poke.90:00 +1:19 Booking
Booking The referee cautions Lloyd Macklin for time wasting.89:02
Billy Bodin takes a shot. Blocked by Tamika Mkandawire.88:00
Lee Mansell takes the outswinging corner, Britt Assombalonga manages to make a clearance.86:57
Centre by Ben Reeves, Michael Poke makes a save.86:26
The ball is swung over by Lee Mansell, save by Daniel Bentley.85:17
Effort from outside the penalty area by Gavin Tomlin goes wide left of the goal.84:46 Substitution
Substitution Nathan Craig goes off and Damon Lathrope comes on.82:43
Unfair challenge on Sean Clohessy by Nathan Craig results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Ben Reeves.82:16
Kevan Hurst takes a shot. Michael Poke makes a save.82:02
Thomas Cruise concedes a free kick for a foul on Gavin Tomlin. Gavin Tomlin takes the free kick.81:35
Billy Bodin delivers the ball, Kevan Hurst manages to make a clearance.81:01
Kevan Hurst gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lloyd Macklin. Direct free kick taken by Nathan Craig.79:11
The ball is crossed by Gavin Tomlin, clearance by Lee Mansell. Corner taken right-footed by Kevan Hurst, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Poke by Britt Assombalonga. Michael Poke takes the free kick.76:24
Britt Assombalonga fouled by Joss Labadie, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Matthew Lund.
Gavin Tomlin challenges Angus MacDonald unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Angus MacDonald.74:48
Free kick awarded for a foul by Britt Assombalonga on Joe Oastler. Free kick taken by Michael Poke.74:20
Ben Reeves takes a shot. Blocked by Michael Poke.73:35 Substitution
Substitution Lloyd Macklin is brought on as a substitute for Jordan Chapell.72:31 Substitution
Substitution Freddy Eastwood goes off and Gavin Tomlin comes on.72:14
The ball is delivered by Kevan Hurst, Angus MacDonald manages to make a clearance.70:08
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Kevan Hurst.69:53
Kevan Hurst decides to take the corner short.67:57
The ball is crossed by Joe Oastler, Close range headed effort by Rene Howe goes wide of the left-hand upright.66:52
Jordan Chapell sends in a cross, Bilel Mohsni manages to make a clearance.66:44
Joe Oastler sends in a cross, Bilel Mohsni makes a clearance.66:15
Freddy Eastwood challenges Lee Mansell unfairly and gives away a free kick. Thomas Cruise takes the direct free kick.65:31
Anthony Straker sends in a cross.64:45
The ball is crossed by Anthony Straker.63:54
Freddy Eastwood produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.62:07
Shot from close in by Britt Assombalonga misses to the left of the goal.61:55
Nathan Craig takes a shot. Save by Daniel Bentley.61:11
Corner taken right-footed by Lee Mansell from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Marc Laird.60:26
Effort from deep inside the area by Billy Bodin misses to the right of the target.59:09
The ball is crossed by Ben Reeves, Header from deep inside the area by Freddy Eastwood goes harmlessly over the crossbar.58:42
Unfair challenge on Britt Assombalonga by Angus MacDonald results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Ben Reeves.56:51
Foul by Kevan Hurst on Lee Mansell, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Michael Poke.56:16
Tamika Mkandawire takes the free kick.56:16 Booking
Booking Joss Labadie goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.56:07
Joss Labadie concedes a free kick for a foul on Marc Laird.54:47
Anthony Straker crosses the ball, clearance by Joe Oastler.54:04
Joe Oastler has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the goal.53:04
Sean Clohessy sends in a cross, clearance by Angus MacDonald.51:30
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Brian Saah by Freddy Eastwood. Angus MacDonald restarts play with the free kick.48:53
Britt Assombalonga is ruled offside. Michael Poke takes the direct free kick.47:48
Kevan Hurst takes the free kick.47:48 Booking
Booking Joe Oastler receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.47:42
Joe Oastler gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Britt Assombalonga.45:01
The second half begins.45:00 +5:05 Half time
Half Time The referee blows for half time.45:00 +1:01
Assist by Lee Mansell.45:00 +1:01 Goal scored
Goal! - Joss Labadie - Southend 1 - 1 Torquay Joss Labadie fires in a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Southend 1-1 Torquay.45:00 +0:51
A cross is delivered by Billy Bodin, clearance by Ben Reeves.44:56
Lee Mansell takes a shot. Daniel Bentley makes a save.43:16
Centre by Kevan Hurst, Lee Mansell gets a block in.42:02
Joe Oastler crosses the ball, clearance by Bilel Mohsni.39:44
Free kick awarded for a foul by Matthew Lund on Lee Mansell. Nathan Craig restarts play with the free kick.37:57
Britt Assombalonga delivers the ball, clearance by Angus MacDonald.37:34
Freddy Eastwood sends in a cross, Brian Saah makes a clearance.37:28
The ball is crossed by Sean Clohessy.33:28
Britt Assombalonga produces a cross.30:17
Foul by Britt Assombalonga on Angus MacDonald, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Joss Labadie.27:25
Corner taken by Nathan Craig played to the near post, Freddy Eastwood manages to make a clearance.26:04
Corner taken by Lee Mansell from the left by-line, clearance made by Bilel Mohsni.25:47
Jordan Chapell takes a shot. Save made by Daniel Bentley.25:39
Nathan Craig produces a cross.23:49
Britt Assombalonga is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Michael Poke.22:36
Unfair challenge on Billy Bodin by Marc Laird results in a free kick. Thomas Cruise takes the free kick.21:53
Joss Labadie fouled by Freddy Eastwood, the ref awards a free kick. Michael Poke restarts play with the free kick.21:06
Free kick taken by Bilel Mohsni.21:06 Booking
Booking Rene Howe goes into the book.20:59
Foul by Rene Howe on Sean Clohessy, free kick awarded.17:38
Britt Assombalonga is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Brian Saah.15:06
Unfair challenge on Bilel Mohsni by Rene Howe results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Bilel Mohsni.12:26
Centre by Ben Reeves.12:08
Handball by Billy Bodin. Free kick taken by Bilel Mohsni.11:07
Freddy Eastwood concedes a free kick for a foul on Joss Labadie. Thomas Cruise takes the direct free kick.9:37
Kevan Hurst crosses the ball, Bilel Mohsni has a headed effort at goal from just inside the penalty area that misses to the right of the goal.9:09
Freddy Eastwood takes a shot. Blocked by Lee Mansell. Short corner taken by Kevan Hurst from the right by-line.8:02
Assist by Ben Reeves.8:02 Goal scored
Goal! - Freddy Eastwood - Southend 1 - 0 Torquay Freddy Eastwood scores a goal from the edge of the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Southend 1-0 Torquay.7:11
The ball is delivered by Sean Clohessy.5:32
Kevan Hurst takes the outswinging corner, Header from close range by Bilel Mohsni misses to the right of the goal.5:16
Kevan Hurst takes a shot. Brian Saah gets a block in.2:18
Angus MacDonald challenges Freddy Eastwood unfairly and gives away a free kick. Kevan Hurst takes the direct free kick.1:56
Rene Howe has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses left.0:00
The referee starts the match.
Live data and text provided by our data suppliers