Matt Taylor scored a brace as Oxford surged into the Sky Bet League One play-off positions with a comfortable 4-0 win at struggling Southend.
The U’s took just 52 seconds to open the scoring as Shrimpers defender Richard Taylor played a woeful pass straight into the path of on-loan Bristol City striker Taylor, who fired home from eight yards.
The U’s remained on top with Southend goalkeeper Nathan Bishop doing well to deny James Henry twice in quick succession.
But Henry continued to threaten and put Oxford 2-0 up in the 33rd minute as he sent a low 25-yard shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
After the break, Tariqe Fosu fired against the foot of the left post before Oxford scored twice late on.
Taylor bagged his second goal of the game with another fine finish in the 84th minute before substitute Dan Agyei completed the scoring just moments after coming on as he charged down the left-hand side before firing home.
As a result, Sol Campbell’s side now sit 11 points from safety in second-bottom.