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.
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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."