|LV County Championship Division Two, Chelmsford|
|Close, day three: Surrey 315 & 286, Essex 253 & 142-5|
|Surrey 6pts, Essex 5pts|
A century from Zander de Bruyn has kept alive Surrey's hopes of a return to the County Championship's top flight after a three-year absence.
The South African made exactly 100 as the visitors, who were struggling on 128-6, were dismissed for 286 in their second innings.
Darren Masters (6-93) excelled with ball as Essex were left a victory target of 349.
The hosts closed on 142-5, still needing 207 more runs to win.
CLOSE OF PLAY SUMMARY
BBC London 94.9's Mark Church:
"Work for Surrey to do on the final day as they push for a crucial victory at Chelmsford.
"Surrey were indebted to a seventh-wicket stand of 119 between Zander de Bruyn and Chris Jordan. De Bruyn scored his fourth century of the summer and Jordan finished unbeaten on 79.
"Essex were in trouble after tea on 96-5 with Tim Linley and Pragyan Ojha sharing the wickets.
"But James Foster and Ryan ten Doechate got Essex through to stumps and Surrey know they have to break that partnership early on the final morning."