Bees player-coach Russell Earnshaw praised his side’s adaptability after they produced a devastating first-half performance to set up a convincing victory in Essex.
The visitors chalked up four tries in the first 30 minutes and then defended stoutly to snuff out any prospect of a Southend second-half revival.
Earnshaw was delighted his side registered a fourth consecutive win in National League Two. “The first half was brilliant,” said the back-row forward.
“All these games are potential banana skins so if we come away with a win, let alone five points, then I am a happy man.
“We’ve got guys who are stepping up to the plate as leaders and we’re just enjoying it at the moment. There is a real good buzz around the team.
“In the first half, we played the wind really well. We want to play rugby and we want to wear sides down. Whatever the conditions are, we want to be able to adapt our game and I thought we did that really well.”
Earnshaw’s men took full advantage of a strong following wind in the opening period and fly-half Mark Woodrow was able to pin the hosts back with some measured kicking. They opened the scoring with just six minutes gone as flanker Adam Clayton stormed over after a neat offload from Ben Phillips.
Woodrow collected the extra two points and followed with a penalty shortly after to put the visitors in a strong position early on.
Although further opportunities to score went begging, Bees effectively wrapped the game up with three tries in the space of five minutes in the middle of the first half, with Woodrow slotting all three conversion attempts.
First, centre Cameron Mitchell was alert after Southend were penalised for entering a ruck from the wrong side, scoring from a quick tap. Moments later, second-row Ed Orgee burrowed over from close range.
Before the hosts had the chance to catch their breath, Simon Hunt scored in the corner and Woodrow’s kick gave his side an insurmountable 31-0 lead.
Southend reduced the arrears with a well-taken try from Luke Sloane just before the break, converted by Joel Johnston. But a comeback looked unlikely when Woodrow swept a penalty between the posts just after the break and it was the Bees who had the better chances in the second half.
They took one, with Mitch Culpin zigzagging his way to the try-line. For once, Woodrow was off target with his kick.
The home side did manage a consolation try when Mark Billings opened up the Bees defence through the centre and, when replacement Chris Green kicked the conversion, a degree of respectability was restored.
But it was Birmingham & Solihull who took the spoils, despite a late sin-binning for Earnshaw after he deliberately knocked on a couple of yards from his own line. By that stagem his team had already secured the victory which keeps their hopes of an immediate return to National One very much alive.
SOUTHEND: Hoult, Lewis (Green), Sloane, Stanley, Billings, Johnston, Powell; North, Pay (Ferrier), Irvine, McClintock (capt), Waring, Braidwood, Gill, Connors.
BEES: Spee, Hunt, Young, Mitchell, Culpin, Woodrow (Petty), Brown; Long (Davies), Phillips (Collett), Voisey, Orgee, Pammenter; Connolly (capt), Clayton (Tomlinson), Earnshaw.
Referee: D Gamage (RFU).