Southend winger Ryan Hall twice came to the rescue to earn Southend a 2-2 draw against fellow promotion hopefuls Gillingham at Roots Hall.
The visitors took the lead in the seventh minute when Curtis Weston passed inside to the onrushing Cody McDonald, who scored with a low right-footed effort into the bottom corner for his 18th goal of the season.
But Blues equalised in the 15th minute when Hall curled a 30-yard free-kick around a five-man Gills wall and past Alan Julian.
However, two minutes later and the away side were back in front. Blair Sturrock's foul on McDonald resulted in a penalty, and Adebayo Akinfenwa made no mistake from 12 yards as he fired low into the corner beyond the dive of Rhys Evans.
Yet eight minutes after the restart Hall levelled again when he was teed up by Sturrock and blasted home into the top left corner from just inside the box.
Both teams hit the woodwork while Julian and Evans made some fine saves, before Chris Barker's late goal-line clearance denied the Kent visitors victory.