Kane Ferdinand scored twice as Southend extended their unbeaten run to eight league games with victory over Torquay.
Michael Timlin picked out Ferdinand to slot in his first, before the striker volleyed in a second from Neil Harris' deep cross from the right.
Liam Dickinson made it 3-0 with a low 20-yard strike, before Mark Phillips headed in a fourth.
Lee Mansell grabbed a late consolation for Torquay after Southend failed to clear a corner.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Southend manager Paul Sturrock told BBC Essex:
"We seemed to go very sleepy (at the start), we allowed the other team to dictate and we just sauntered along with them.
"From the first whistle of the second half we were on the front foot, every challenge we were winning, we were breaking things up and scoring goals.
"We've got to start games like that and finish teams off as early possible. It's vitally important the players appreciate what has happened today in the second half."
Torquay United manager Martin Ling told BBC Radio Devon:
"They were effective today. They stuck to a game plan and they won the game convincingly.
"I suppose the last 20 minutes when it went 4-0 could have been a disaster. We did stick with it, but that's a very small reward.
"We'll keep fighting to find the right answers and keep doing things right on the training pitch and taking it into games, but it's certainly disappointing at this moment in time."
Southend 01 Morris (Bentley - 71' ) 02 Clohessy 03 Gilbert 12 Ferdinand 15 Phillips Booked 16 Prosser 04 Hall 08 Timlin 19 Kalala Booked (Leonard - 62' ) 09 Harris 22 Dickinson (Sturrock - 85' ) Substitutes 17 Bentley 06 Bilel 18 Leonard 07 Grant 21 Sturrock Torquay 01 Olejnik 03 Nicholson 05 Robertson 06 Saah 18 Oastler Booked (Atieno - 60' ) 04 Ellis 07 Mansell 10 O'Kane 15 Bodin (Lathrope - 80' ) 19 Stevens 09 Howe (McPhee - 90' ) Substitutes 13 Rice 12 Leadbitter 16 McPhee 22 Lathrope 23 Atieno