Preston's Barry Nicholson missed a first-half penalty as League Two leaders Southend forced an FA Cup first-round replay.
Nicholson had an early chance to put North End ahead but shot straight at Shrimpers goalkeeper Luke Daniels.
The striker had a chance to make amends but fired his penalty over the bar after Southend's Peter Gilbert had brought down Paul Coutts in the area.
Ryan Hall went closest for Southend but he was denied by Thorsten Stuckmann.
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Southend manager Paul Sturrock told BBC Essex:
"We held our own in the first 20 minutes but we were sluggish for the next 25. It wasn't until the substitution (of Kalala) that we took charge of the game.
"The first half was really all them, our goalie kept us in it with two great saves.
"In the second half we looked a much better, stronger side and we looked as though we could go on and win it."