Michael Kightly marked his return to the Blues starting line-up by scoring the winner at the Kassam Stadium as Southend won 1-0 away at Oxford United.
In a scrappy contest that rarely went above boiling point, the midfielder nodded in a cross from Theo Robinson with 11 minutes to play to earn Southend a vital three points.
Oxford had had a Jamie Mackie goal ruled out midway through the first-half for offside before Curtis Nelson had a great chance moments later, volleying wide from a free-kick.
Southend struggled to force goalkeeper Simon Eastwood into action with Sam Mantom’s near-post free-kick the most pressure he had been put under.
That was until Kightly headed Chris Powell’s side in front with Blues holding out for an important three points following the disappointment of losing to Rochdale on Saturday.