Crewe ended their run of five straight league draws as two second-half goals clinched a 2-0 victory at Southend.
Clayton Donaldson put the Railwaymen ahead in the 55th minute when Luke Murphy's cross found the forward unmarked and he headed home his fifth goal of the season.
Donaldson was then substituted and his replacement Shaun Miller doubled the advantage in the 78th minute when Murphy's cross from the right was not dealt with by Southend keeper Glenn Morris, allowing Miller to volley in from close range for his sixth goal of the campaign.
Crewe had two let-offs in the first half when Lee Bell hacked Anthony Grant's goal-bound effort from Louis Soares' corner off the line, and then Ashley Westwood cleared Waide Fairhurst's shot from another Soares flag-kick off the line.
Soares had a penalty appeal turned down but at the other end referee Andy Woolmer awarded a spot-kick after Luke Prosser brought down Clayton Donaldson. Westwood's penalty smashed down off the crossbar before relieved goalkeeper Morris scooped up the ball.
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