Stanley boss John Coleman has certainly mellowed in his 11 years in charge of the Reds.
After having many referee rants over the years, it was expected that the Stanley manager would come out and have a real go at Lincoln referee Gary Sutton, risking some form of punishment, after his side picked up five bookings and Peter Murphy saw red in a game which certainly wasn’t dirty.
And Southend scored their equaliser from a disputed free kick – although the same could be said for the Stanley goal, which saw Jimmy Ryan hammer home from a set-piece.
The Reds boss was livid on the touchline, shouting, shaking his head and standing bemused as decisions went against his side.
But a couple of minutes after the final whistle, Coleman had checked himself and, while angry at the official, he was ready to reflect that a point on their travels – and at Southend where the Reds’ last visit 59 years ago was a 6-1 defeat – wasn’t a bad return.
Coleman, whose side have dropped just two points off the relegation zone, said: "You have got to be happy with a point when down to 10 men and now we do just have to keep digging away.
"But if I say what I feel about the referee, I will get myself into trouble and end up with a lengthy ban.
"The ref has his assessors watching him and he has a coach and he has got to go away and look at the game.
"If he is happy with his performance well; I can’t say what I want to or else I will get into trouble but let’s just say I think the crowd influenced his decisions.
"I feel that justice has not been done. I feel like we deserved to win the game by the way we applied ourselves and, on another day and with other officials who saw things differently, we might have done.
"The bookings – five for us and one for them – is just ludicrous. I am disappointed as I felt the major decisions went against us.
"But I thought we defended well and, while not playing like we can, our keeper has only had one save to make."
There were some oddly-awarded yellow cards shown with the Reds now facing a fine.
Sean Hessey was booked for apparently trying to take a free kick from the wrong place, keeper Ian Dunbavin saw yellow for getting the ball back from behind the goal to take a goal kick while the ref booked Terry Gornell for something his assistant pointed out.
And the Reds were hoping to appeal against Murphy’s red card, given 12 minutes from time, as he became the fourth Stanley player to be sent off in six league games.
The young defender was called up to right back, with vice-captain Phil Edwards missing his first game in three years through suspension, and he did catch Anthony Grant who was charging down the wing.
While Murphy did clatter into a challenge, he did get the ball but the home crowd were up in arms and referee Sutton reached straight for his top pocket.
"It was a genuine tackle by Peter and he got the ball," fumed Coleman, "You can generally tell by other players’ reactions and the only people who reacted were the crowd."
Nevertheless, the 10 men held out to secure a draw with Andy Owens coming on to help shore up the backline in the last 10 minutes and impressing.
And, while Coleman was not happy with Mr Sutton for the bookings, Southend boss Paul Sturrock was similarly furious after sub Harry Crawford scored what he thought was an injury-time winner from close range but the assistant ruled it out for off-side.
Overall then, no one was particularly pleased and Stanley’s first visit to Southend in over half a century certainly wasn’t memorable for the right reasons.
Stanley’s only real shot in the first half was Ryan’s 25-yard free kick which nestled in the back of the net following a foul on Ray Putterill.
But similarly Southend – the home side expected to push the game – didn’t test Dunbavin once in a half to forget.
It did liven up after the break with Gornell pouncing on a stray ball and charging into the away area only for Peter Gilbert’s superb last-ditch tackle to take the ball off his foot as he lined up to shoot.
However. a contentious free kick saw Gilbert make an accurate delivery to defender Bilel Mohsni at the far post and he made no mistake for the leveller.
Dunbavin then one-handedly tipped away QPR loanee Antonio German’s curling strike before Murphy saw red and Sutton ruled out Southend’s last gasp ‘goal’.
"We can play better than that but we defended really well," said Coleman.
"We didn’t hurt them enough but they didn’t hurt us enough and it was a midfield scrap for an hour.
"Our keeper has only had two things to do all day – pick the ball out the back of the net and make a great save but he shouldn’t have had to pick the ball out of the net as it was a foul for us and not them.
"I am proud though of how hard the lads worked in the last 10 minutes as, in recent weeks, we would possibly have caved in and conceded a late goal but we stood up to them.
"What I will say though is that we will probably be fined now for our bookings – even though Bavs got booked for collecting a ball that someone behind the goal had thrown away so he had to go and get it.
"And that’s frustrating as a club of our size and resources cannot afford to pay a fine and we shouldn’t have to.
"If the referee imposes the fine after seeing it, it just shows how poor the administration is in football.
"It has got to change from FIFA down as people are being punished harshly at a level they can’t afford."