BARRY Corr’s second half strike secured Southend United a 1-0 win against Accrington Stanley and virtually a place in the play-offs too.
The Irishman’s close range finish means the sixth placed Shrimpers are now six points clear of Oxford, who are eighth, with just two games to go.
And only a swing of 10 goalswith Oxford United can now deny Blues a top seven finish.
Southend were made to battle for their latest triumph and the first half was short of excitement and any action until Blues almost opened the scoring just before the break when Ryan Leonard headed a right wing cross from John White just inches wide of the left post.
However, the start of the second period was also uneventful and led to Shrimpers boss Phil Brown making his first change of the game in the 58th minute with Jamar Loza coming on to replace Michael Timlin.
And, just six minutes after the change, Blues went in front, with Corr bagging his 11th goal of the season.
The move began with a left wing cross from Jacob Murphy which Kevan Hurst cushioned back in to the path of Will Atkinson.
The midfielder then carried the ball in to the path of Corr who cushioned a fine finish in to the bottom left hand corner of the net from 12 yards.
After making the breakthrough, Blues made their second change of the game in the 75th minute with Conor Clifford replacing Murphy in midfield.
And, soon after the substitution, the Shrimpers wasted an excellent chance to double their lead when Loza teed up Corr only for the striker to scuff his eight yard shot wide of the left post.
The miss soon almost increased in significance too as Accrington came close to equalising in the 84th minute when a low volley from substitute Shay McCartan was tipped wide of the left post by Daniel Bentley.
That prompted boss Brown in to making a defensive final change as Luke Prosser came on for Corr and Blues held on to secure their fifth win in six games.