|LV CC Division Two, Bristol|
|Close, day two: Essex 400 v Gloucestershire 211-9|
|Gloucestershire 4pts, Essex 8pts|
Reece Topley and Graham Napier reduced Gloucestershire to 211-9 in reply to Essex's first innings of 400.
Rain meant no play until 13:25 BST and Greg Smith added 28 to his overnight score to hit a career-best 177 as Essex secured maximum batting points.
The hosts then fell to 41-3 before Alex Gidman (63) and Hamish Marshall (54) shared a 101-run stand but Gidman's departure triggered a collapse.
Topley ran out Benny Howell and six wickets fell for only 34 runs.
But number 11 Craig Miles (29 not out) hit six boundaries late on as he and Grame McCarter survived to stumps.
Topley finished the day with 3-68 and opening bowling partner Napier took 4-72.