John O'Flynn's brace moved Exeter into the League Two automatic promotion spots with victory over Southend.
The visitors were denied when Barry Corr saw his header cleared from under the bar - the striker's claims the ball had crossed the line were waved away.
O'Flynn put Exeter in front with a crisp finish from the edge of the area.
And the Grecians sealed a third straight league win when Scot Bennett looped in a header and O'Flynn converted Jimmy Keohane's cut-back.
The Shrimpers just about remain in the play-off places, staying above Fleetwood and Bradford on goal difference.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon:
"We stuck to the basics and scored some really good goals.
I loved the final goal with Jimmy Keohane showing that selfless attitude to set his team-mate up. Very few players would've done that. It really shows a classy player.
"We're always trying to improve the details - all the things that in isolation you don't pay much attention to but you stick them together over weeks and months, and hopefully we start to put results together.
"I was sure of my substitutes today, I knew what I wanted to get out of them."
Southend United boss Paul Sturrock told BBC Essex:
"[I am] very disappointed. Our first-half performance, I thought we put a lot of opportunities in the box but didn't get on the end of them.
"We lost a bad goal, two minutes from half time. Had we scored first it may have been a completely different game.
"The second half was a weary looking team trying to chase the game and it's cost us dear, we lost two bad goals.
"We need a hand. There are two of three positions we really need to strengthen. We lost two in (Scott) Donnelly and (Tamika) Mkandawire, and we've got (Britt) Assombalonga injured as well."
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.
Foul by Neil Harris on Kevin Amankwaah, free kick awarded. Kevin Amankwaah takes the direct free kick.
Shot from deep inside the area by Jake Gosling clears the crossbar.
Kevan Hurst takes a corner.
Substitution Jake Gosling joins the action as a substitute, replacing Steve Tully.
Substitution (Southend) makes a substitution, with Neil Harris coming on for Barry Corr.
Corner taken by Kevan Hurst from the left by-line, clearance made by John O'Flynn.
Jimmy Keohane provided the assist for the goal.
86:10 Goal scored
Goal! - John O'Flynn - Exeter 3 - 0 Southend A goal is scored by John O'Flynn from inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Exeter 3-0 Southend.
Chris Barker takes a shot. Corner taken right-footed by Matt Oakley from the left by-line, Pat Baldwin takes a shot. Save by Paul Smith.
Assist on the goal came from Matt Oakley.
79:01 Goal scored
Goal! - Scot Bennett - Exeter 2 - 0 Southend Scot Bennett fires in a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Exeter 2-0 Southend.
Artur Krysiak restarts play with the free kick. Corner taken by Matt Oakley,
Substitution Kevin Amankwaah comes on in place of Alan Gow.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Sean Clohessy.
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Alan Gow from the right by-line.
Booking David Martin goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
Substitution Tommy Doherty replaces Arron Davies.
David Martin concedes a free kick for a foul on Alan Gow. Matt Oakley takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Timlin by Alan Gow. Direct free kick taken by Kevan Hurst.
Effort on goal by Gavin Tomlin from just inside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the target.
Kevan Hurst takes the free kick.
Substitution Elliot Benyon replaces Alex Woodyard.
Gavin Tomlin fouled by Steve Tully, the ref awards a free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on John O'Flynn by Sean Clohessy. Craig Woodman takes the indirect free kick.
Corner taken by Alan Gow, Danny Coles takes a shot. Save by Paul Smith.
Booking Pat Baldwin is given a yellow card.
Gavin Tomlin takes a shot. Danny Coles gets a block in. Corner taken short by David Martin, Foul by Michael Timlin on Alan Gow, free kick awarded.
Booking Booking for Michael Timlin.
Alan Gow produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.
Matt Oakley restarts play with the free kick.
Booking Caution for Alex Woodyard.
Alex Woodyard challenges Alan Gow unfairly and gives away a free kick.
Alex Woodyard concedes a free kick for a foul on Pat Baldwin. Indirect free kick taken by Danny Coles.
The second half kicks off.
45:00 +2:36 Half time
Half Time The first half comes to an end.
Outswinging corner taken by Kevan Hurst, Danny Coles manages to make a clearance.
John O'Flynn challenges Mark Phillips unfairly and gives away a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Mark Phillips, Effort on goal by Alex Woodyard from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Ryan Cresswell misses to the right of the target.
The assist for the goal came from Matt Oakley.
42:05 Goal scored
Goal! - John O'Flynn - Exeter 1 - 0 Southend A goal is scored by John O'Flynn from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Exeter 1-0 Southend.
Alan Gow fouled by Barry Corr, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Matt Oakley, clearance made by Danny Coles.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Kevan Hurst played to the near post, Artur Krysiak makes a clearance. Effort from inside the area by Michael Timlin misses to the left of the goal.
Foul by Matt Oakley on Barry Corr, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Sean Clohessy.
The offside flag is raised against Alan Gow. Paul Smith takes the free kick.
Barry Corr takes a shot.
Unfair challenge on John O'Flynn by Mark Phillips results in a free kick. Craig Woodman restarts play with the free kick.
Substitution Marc Laird leaves the field to be replaced by David Martin.
Jimmy Keohane takes a shot. Paul Smith makes a save.
Foul by John O'Flynn on Paul Smith, free kick awarded. Paul Smith takes the free kick.
Matt Oakley decides to take the corner short.
Alex Woodyard concedes a free kick for a foul on Alan Gow. Artur Krysiak restarts play with the free kick.
Kevan Hurst takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Matt Oakley.
Shot from just outside the penalty area by Gavin Tomlin misses to the left of the target. Corner taken short by Marc Laird.
Michael Timlin is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Artur Krysiak takes the free kick.
Kevan Hurst takes a corner.
Corner taken short by Kevan Hurst. Kevan Hurst produces a cross, Gavin Tomlin produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand post.
Matt Oakley takes a shot. Save by Paul Smith.
Alan Gow takes a shot.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Mark Phillips on Alan Gow. Alan Gow takes the indirect free kick.
Barry Corr fouled by Danny Coles, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Kevan Hurst. Danny Coles fouled by Barry Corr, the ref awards a free kick. Artur Krysiak takes the free kick.
Kevan Hurst takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Danny Coles.
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