Terry Gornell scored the winning goal for the second time in five days as Accrington Stanley beat Southend United 2-1 at Roots Hall.
Piero Mingoia had given the Reds the lead with a crisp strike from 14 yards and Gornell’s dink after being put one-on-one with the goalkeeper doubled the lead.
Barry Corr pulled a goal back for the Shrimpers with a towering header but Stanley’s defence held firm to record back-to-back league victories for the first time since October.
John Coleman was forced into one change as full-back Adam Buxton had not recovered from the hamstring injury which forced him out of Tuesday night’s 1-0 win against Oxford; Seamus Conneely came back into the starting XI after sitting out in midweek.
There was an early shout for handball against Rob Atkinson as his namesake Will Atkinson fired a low cross into the Stanley penalty area but referee Mick Russell waved away the appeals from home fans and players.
Scott Davies caught a John White header and saw Jack Payne’s shot blocked in front of him by a crowd of bodies before the Reds had their first sight of goal with Terry Gornell heading well wide from a free-kick and Bruna firing a few yards past the post from distance after finding a pocket of space.
Southend almost took the lead through a Stanley mistake as Atkinson’s poor backpass set Joe Pigott in on goal but the striker, who had scored against Stanley earlier in the season during a loan spell with Newport County, lofted the ball over Davies, onto the crossbar and behind for a goal kick.
Coleman’s side came even closer to opening the scoring as Luke Joyce flicked Josh Windass’ corner towards the near post but Ryan Leonard was in the right place to head the ball away from danger and deny the Stanley skipper a certain goal.
At the other end, Davies smothered a Payne shot from the edge of the area then watched Leonard’s free-kick roll harmlessly past his right-hand post in the final minutes of the first half.
After a goalless first 45 minutes, Coleman’s men took the lead with their first chance of the second period as Piero Mingoia coolly volleyed home a loose ball from 14 yards to find the bottom corner.
Michael Timlin looked to get the hosts back on level terms immediately but side-footed high and wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Adam Thompson headed wide from a Jerome Binnom-Williams cross when well-placed six yards out and that miss was punished as Stanley doubled their advantage with just under 20 minutes remaining.
Gornell was sent racing clear through the heart of the home defence and deftly clipped the ball over the advancing goalkeeper Ted Smith for his second goal in as many games.
Southend responded immediately with David Worrall’s flighted cross to the back-post powerfully headed into the bottom corner by substitute Barry Corr to bring Phil Brown’s team back into contention.
After setting up Corr’s goal, Worrall tried getting on the scoresheet himself, cutting inside onto his left foot but the shot was skewed high and wide by the former Stanley loanee.
The Reds survived a couple of late penalty appeals and were resolute in defence to see out a terrific result, inflicting Southend’s first home defeat in League Two since the start of October.
Stanley: Davies; Hunt, Atkinson, Conneely, Winnard; Joyce, Procter; Bruna (Naismith 70), Windass, Mingoia; Gornell.
Subs: Dawber, Liddle, Barry, McCartan, Maguire, Bowerman.
Attendance: 5,241 (32 away)