Connor Ogilvie’s second-half header saw in-form Gillingham win 1-0 at relegation-doomed Southend.
Ogilvie nodded home the only goal of the game to extend the Gills’ unbeaten record to 14 League One games and take them four points off the play-off places.
Neither side threatened during an uneventful first half during which Shrimpers winger Stephen McLaughlin fired two long-range free-kicks at goal.
But Gillingham stepped things up in the second half and came close to taking the lead when Ogilvie headed Tom O’Connor’s right-wing corner wide of the right post.
In reply, Gills goalkeeper Jack Bonham did well to deny Charlie Kelman before the visitors bagged their winner in the 67th minute when Ogilvie climbed above Southend’s debutant keeper Harry Seaden to head home Jordan Graham’s right-wing cross.
Southend wasted a clear cut chance to equalise late on with substitute Matt Rush firing wide of the left post and they remain second from bottom in the table, 14 points from safety.