|LV= County Championship - Division Two, Grace Road|
|Close of play, day three: Essex 322 & 306-4, Leicestershire 274|
|Essex 6pts, Leics 4pts|
Billy Godleman hit a career-best century as Essex took control on day three at Grace Road.
David Masters (5-67) took three wickets in the first session as Leicestershire were 274 all out - 48 runs short of Essex's first-innings total.
Godleman (130) and Tom Westley (67) then put on 104 for the first wicket in Essex's second innings.
Owais Shah (84 not out) added to Leicestershire's problems as Essex moved to 306-4.
Jigar Naik took three late wickets - including that of Godleman - as Essex went in search of quick runs during the final session.
But they still closed 354 runs ahead, an advantage that gives them a strong chance of victory on day four.
POST MATCH REACTION
BBC Essex's Nick Gledhill:
"A superb day for Essex which went entirely according to plan.
"Most welcome was the return to form of Billy Godleman whose career-best 130 started as a real struggle but developed into an innings of great fluency.
"Essex now lead by 354 and that should be enough. An overnight declaration would be a positive move to allow the bowlers a full day to secure a second consecutive championship win."