Basildon United recorded an important victory at Oakside on Tuesday evening, as they beat fellow promotion rivals Redbridge by two goals to nil.
After a quiet start to proceedings, the game sprang to life after 20 minutes when a flurry of yellow cards was reflective of an upturn in the pace and intensity of the game.
The Bees came agonisingly close to taking the lead on 26 minutes when Reece Conway's thunderbolt from outside the box smashed against the post, but he was on the score sheet barely a minute later when Marcus Bowers' long throw was not dealt with by Lewis Greene in the Redbridge goal and Conway was on hand to head home at the far post.
Redbridge were reduced to ten men on the half hour mark when Remi Nelson was given his marching orders, but this served only to galvanise the hosts who began to find some joy down both flanks.
This pressure continued after the interval and Jonathon Mbamarah and Joshua Hutchinson both shot wide early in the second half.
Hutchinson went closer still on 61 minutes when his shot hit the bar and it proved to be a costly miss as just seven minutes later Marcus Bowers created space in the Redbridge box before smashing the ball into the far corner to extend Basildon's lead.
Redbridge continued to seek a way back into the game and with ten minutes to play, Patrick Duggan forced Connor Wheatley to turn his free kick over the bar and deep in injury time, Billy Golledge saw his shot blocked with the rebound falling to Brian Moses, whose effort was blocked on the line.
The Bees held on to record another clean sheet and increase the pressure on the teams around them at the top of the Essex Senior League in the quest for promotion.