Gary Roberts and substitute Armand Gnanduillet were on target for the hosts – the latter to seal the win in stoppage time - at the Proact Stadium as Freddy Eastwood’s goal for Southend proved worthless.
Oxford were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Wycombe despite Charles Dunne being sent off for the visitors.
Burton Albion shared the points with Bury after a 2-2 draw while Newport County remain in sixth after their clash with Dagenham and Redbridge ended 1-1.
Exeter suffered a 2-0 defeat at Morecambe but remain in seventh spot with AFC Wimbledon moving levelling on points with them after a 3-2 win over Scunthorpe.
Portsmouth shared a 2-2 draw with Mansfield, while Plymouth’s Reuben Reid scored a 25th minute penalty to give his side a 1-0 win over Rochdale.
Bristol Rovers beat York City 3-2 in an entertaining match with David Clarkson netting a brace and Ryan Bowman costing his side with a red card in the first half.
Cheltenham beat Accrington Stanley 1-0 thanks to Jason Taylor’s second-half goal, and Torquay were also triumphant after a Jordan Chapell double gave them a 2-1 win over Northampton Town.