Three in a row for Southend and Ranger
Phil Brown marked his fourth anniversary in charge of Southend with a third consecutive win as his side beat AFC Wimbledon 2-0.
Nile Ranger was involved in the first meaningful chance as his neat flick found Anthony Wordsworth on the edge of the box, but the midfielder's low shot was well saved by James Shea.
Ranger then got a brilliant opener for Southend in the 35th minute, shuffling past three players and prodding a shot into the right-hand corner while off balance to score his third goal in as many games.
The Dons had been wasteful in possession but Lyle Taylor nearly latched onto Tom Soares' through-ball just before half-time.
Simon Cox doubled Southend's lead shortly after the hour mark after taking advantage of a fortunate rebound in midfield and lashing past Shea from 20 yards.
Shrimpers substitute Theo Robinson hit the post after latching on to a ball over the top, but the away side were rarely troubled at the other end as they maintained their League One play-off chase.