First half Barry Corr and Will Atkinson goals seal comfortable Blues win against the Stags.
Southend United produced a professional performance performance to get back to winning ways with a comfortable 2-0 victory against Mansfield Town at Roots Hall.
First half strikes from Barry Corr and Will Atkinson gave Blues the win, who now head into a frantic final month of the season, with 21 points up for grabs.
Phil Brown names an unchanged side to the XI that began at Bury.
On the bench, Myles Weston returned, after a spell on international duty with Antigua. The winger came in for Lee Barnard.
In a quiet opening to the game, Blues boss Brown was forced into an early change, when Adam Thompson went down with a shoulder injury. The defender couldn't continue, and he was forced off, with Cian Bolger coming on in only the eighth minute of the game.
Moments later, the first opportunity of the game came the way of Southend. Adam Barrett fed Corr, and after cutting back to his left foot, the Irishman – who turned 30 a day earlier – saw his goal-bound effort blocked by Martin Riley, inside the box.
However, Corr made no mistake with his next chance, and opened the scoring for the Blues. A neat move found Timlin, and with Corr lurking on the left-hand side of the box, the pass from Timlin found his team-mate, and the striker made no mistake, calmly slotting past the on-rushing Lenny Pidgeley.
And it was 2-0 soon after, when Will Atkinson grabbed his first goal of the season. A long range strike from Ryan Leonard was only parried into the path of the former Stags loanee, and he took the chance – simply knocking the ball into the back of the net, from close range.
It was a dream start for Brown's men, who were playing with freedom, and deserved their two-goal lead after half an hour of play.
It was almost the perfect half, and it could perhaps have been 3-0 just before half time, but following a poor Simon Heslop backpass, Corr couldn't get the ball out of his feet to get a strike on goal.
After the break, Blues could have made it 3-0. On 51 minutes, skipper John White's cross found Corr in the box, but the striker volleyed inches over the crossbar.
At the other end, Bentley has to be alert to divert a strike from Rakish Bingham just over the upright, before a strike from the same player deflected off Bolger and flew just past Bentley's right-hand post.
However, despite late Mansfield pressure, Brown's men held on to register their first
Blues: Bentley; White (c), Thompson (Bolger, 8), Barrett, Coker; Atkinson, Leonard, Timlin, McLaughlin (Weston, 87); Corr, Pigott (Cassidy, 67)
Unused substitutes: T. Smith, Payne, Deegan, Binnom-Williams