Substitute Bilel Mohsni's late brace fired Southend back to the top of League Two as they extended their winning run to six matches with a 3-1 win at Crewe.
Crewe had the ball in the net first, but Shaun Miller was flagged offside after bundling in the rebound from Ajay Leitch-Smith's initial shot.
Highly-rated Alex youngster Nick Powell struck the upright with a superb half-volley and Leitch-Smith could not connect with the rebound.
However, the Shrimpers took the lead with 37 minutes gone when Crewe goalkeeper Steve Phillips parried Michael Timlin's shot and Kane Ferdinand was on hand to side-foot into the empty net.
Just before the break, Phillips clawed away Liam Dickinson's header before Ryan Leonard poked over the loose ball and in the second-half Southend goalkeeper Glenn Morris produced heroics at the other end to twice deny Leitch-Smith.
Powell then picked out Ashley Westwood unmarked at the back post but the midfield man blazed over the bar.
Harry Davis kept his cool when Leitch-Smith found the full-back in a similar position and he rifled home a 75th-minute leveller.
But Mohsni headed in Ryan Hall's cross with two minutes to go and then doubled his account two minutes later, pulling down Neil Harris's ball before sliding it under Phillips.
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