Trialist striker Adam Wallace made his mark on his Southend United reserve team debut, during yesterday's 2-2 Roots Hall draw with Luton Town.

The pacey Southampton youngster rounded off an eye catching performance with a well-taken second-half goal, before going agonisingly close to snatching victory with a spectacular long range effort.

Wallace was joined in Blues' second-string by three other guest players -- Aston Villa targetman Andrew Marfell, Millwall midfielder Rio Alderton and right-back Chris Dorrian, who has been released by Leyton Orient.

And Shrimpers boss Rob Newman said all four players were worth another look.

"I thought they did very well," he said. "Adam Wallace caught the eye because he scored a goal and hit the post with another effort.

"But on the whole I think they are all definitely worth another look and I will invite them back in for training next week."

Wallace was partnered up front by 20-year-old Marfell, who held the ball up and distributed it quite well, but never threatened a goal.

Bruising teenage giant Alderton wasted no time getting stuck into the opposition and set up Wallace's strike with a patient pass.

And the quartet of trialists was completed by 19-year-old Dorrian, who looked comfortable on the ball, got forward at every opportunity and fired over a series of useful crosses.

Blues took the lead in this Avon Insurance Combination League fixture through returning skipper Phil Whel-an, who missed Saturday's 1-0 Third Division win at Lincoln City with a bruised arm.

The centre-half met Scott Forbes' near-post right-wing corner after 19 minutes and thumped a header past Hatters goalkeeper Carl Emberson.

And Wallace doubled Blues' lead on 63 minutes after racing on to Alderton's pass and stroking a low 15-yard shot into the bottom right-hand corner of the visitors' goal.

However, a strong Luton side hit-back to take a share of the spoils, with Andrew Fotiadis beating Southend's dropped first team goalkeeper Darryl Flahavan twice in a five minute spell.

The Hatters striker reduced the deficit on 64 minutes, firing home from ten yards after latching on to Whelan's attempted clearance, before restoring parity with a sweetly struck close range half-volley as Blues were caught napping again.

Luton had midfielder Peter Holmes dismissed for his second booking on 79 minutes, before Wallace nearly netted a sensational winner right at the death.

But the hitman's 25-yard thunderbolt smashed against the inside of the left-post and bounced back out to safety.

Southend: Flahavan, Dorrian, Kerrigan, Whelan, D Lunan, Alderton (Plummer), Szmid, A Clark, Marfell, Wallace, Forbes.

Trialist winger from Colchester, Matt Hearn, has been shown the Roots Hall exit door.

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Published Thursday, March 21, 2002