Southend saw off League Two strugglers Bristol Rovers, who were reduced to 10 men late on.
Fabian Broghammer fired home at the second time of asking for the hosts, but Gavin Tomlin slotted in for 1-1.
Kevan Hurst stroked the Shrimpers ahead on the stroke of half-time and Ryan Cresswell headed in a third.
David Clarkson's penalty made it 3-2 after Eliot Richards was fouled by Sean Clohessy, but substitute Oliver Norburn was sent off for fouling Ryan Leonard.
Rovers are now just one point clear of the League Two relegation places, while Southend are two points off the play-offs.
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Southend United manager Paul Sturrock told BBC Essex:
"The first half I think we dominated. We lost a bad goal, but it could have been 3-1 or 4-1 at half-time. I thought we were excellent.
"Then we decided we'd defend and keep what we had and that always brings teams down on top of you.
"There's been some good performances from us this year, we've got to get a consistency now, we've got to start putting points on the board.
"I'm pleased the players responded properly, it's a hard place to come, I'm sure other teams will have a problem here."
Bristol Rovers manager Mark McGhee told BBC Radio Bristol:
"We're hugely disappointed with the result and I'm disappointed by the first-half performance.
"It's frustrating because I know we have a better performance in us.
"I think we have to create something for the supporters to get behind. When you go 3-1 down, how can you expect them to be behind us?
"They didn't put any pressure on the players and they're showing a fantastic tolerance, but it's going to run out. We need to get better results."