First half goals help Blues to a valuable three points
Two first half goals by Jack Payne and an own goal from debutant Will Aimson helped Blues on their way to a brilliant victory at Tranmere Rovers.
However, Blues had to hold off a Rovers fightback – after Max Power's second half penalty – to record their third consecutive victory in Sky Bet League Two.
Blues boss Phil Brown named an unchanged starting XI for the trip to Birkenhead, with both Kevan Hurst and Cian Bolger keeping their places in the team. Brown's squad was boosted with the return of Jakub Sokolik and Jerome Williams – through suspension – and Myles Weston, who came back into contention after international duty with Antigua.
It was a quiet opening few minutes, with the best chance falling to the hosts. Cole Stockton's neat ball found Shamir Fenelon in the box, but Dan Bentley was out quickly to foil the on loan Brighton & Hove Albion striker.
In the 13th minutes, Blues had their first real opportunity of the game. The ball dropped to Michael Timlin on the edge of the box, but the midfielder saw his half-volley flash past the post, via a deflection off Marcus Holness.
Blues didn't have to wait too long to break the deadlock though – four minutes later. A ball into the box by Barry Corr was headed down at the back post by David Worrall, and none of the hosts' defenders picked up Payne, who ghosted in to score from just four yards.
Worrall was again the instigator as Blues added a second goal to their tally just before the 25 minute mark. The winger got away from his man before driving an effort at goal. Peter Brezovan blocked the strike but the ball cannoned in off Aimson and into the back of the net.
A sensational start could have got better just moments later, however, Payne's weaving run and shot was stopped by the Tranmere 'keeper at his near post.
However, Blues weren't having it all their own way, and as the game edged towards half time, Micky Adams' side had a couple of attempts from Stockton and a powerful strike from Steve Jennings that flashed just wide of the right-hand post.
The hosts came out looking for an instant reply. After Blues had a couple of efforts from Worrall and Payne that tested Brezovan, Cian Bolger uphended Fenelon in the box. The referee Carl Berry awarded a penalty, and Power dinked the penalty down the middle as Bentley dived to his right, to make it 2-1.
Blues did well to stop the home side getting any rhythm in their play, and Kevan Hurst went close on two occasions just after the hour mark. The midfielder saw his curling effort beaten away by Brezovan before scuffing wide of the target after good work again by Payne.
The minutes were ticking by, and Hurst again came close but saw his drive from 25 yards go just over Brezovan's crossbar.
Into added time, substitute Conor Clifford saw his volley fly just wide of the target from an acute angle before Payne tested Brezovan again
The visitors had to hold off heavy pressure from Rovers, but did so admirably and with it, took three valuable and well deserved points back to Essex.
Blues: Bentley; Thompson, Bolger, Prosser, White (c); Worrall, Timlin, Leonard (Clifford, 46), Hurst (Jerome Williams, 80); Payne; Corr
Unused: Weston, Atkinson, Coulthirst, P. Smith, Sokolik