Plymouth manager John Sheridan praised his resolute side as they boosted their survival hopes with a 2-0 win at Southend.

A penalty from Paul Wotton and a well-taken effort from striker Reuben Reid secured the Pilgrims all three points as they moved up to 20th in the standings. A delighted Sheridan said: "It is good to get back-to-back wins and it was a very good performance and a solid win against good opposition.

"We created a lot of opportunities and defended well when we needed to. Everyone knew what their jobs were and it was a good performance after a long journey."

He added: "Southend are a very good team with good players and they were a threat so I'm happy we have managed to keep a clean sheet and win the game against a team like Southend because I believe they are one of the best in the league."

Plymouth should have gone in front in the first half when Jason Banton's 12-yard shot was destined for the bottom right-hand corner before Paris Cowan-Hall made sure and was ruled offside. But the error of judgement did not prove costly as Argyle went in front in the 57th minute, with Wotton scoring from the spot from the second game in succession.

The penalty was awarded after Bilel Mohsni brought down Joe Bryan and enabled Wotton to roll a shot into the bottom right-hand corner. In reply Shrimpers strikers Britt Assombalonga and Gavin Tomlin were denied by Argyle keeper Jake Cole. Assombalonga's low drive was blocked by Cole's legs before substitute Tomlin had a 20-yard effort tipped wide of the right post.

However, Plymouth made sure of the win in the 74th minute when Reid scored the first goal of his loan spell from Yeovil as he turned past Sean Clohessy before firing home from close range. The loss infuriated Southend boss Paul Sturrock, whose side now seem unlikely to make the play-offs.

"Just like everyone else here I'm exasperated by that performance," said Sturrock. "I let the players talk things through among themselves and hope they can get to the bottom of what they think is going wrong.

"They've heard my voice often enough this season but I still want a few home truths to be told in there. I don't want to be making excuses but our injury situation isn't helping and we need to get back to having a settled side if we are to avoid our season fizzling out.

"I also think it's important we try and get some confidence back before the JPT final."