Essex kept themselves in the Division Two promotion hunt with a seven-wicket win over Kent inside three days at Canterbury.
Set a victory target of 55, the visitors lost three wickets getting there but Mark Pettini's 19 not out saw them home.
Essex seamer Maurice Chambers had earlier finished with figures of 4-31 as Kent went from an overnight 9-3 to 101 all out in their second innings.
Chambers was well supported by fellow paceman Graham Napier (3-26) and spinner Harbahajan Singh (3-35), while Darren Stevens' 22 was the top score for Kent.
Essex are now fifth in the table on 106 points after their second win of the season, 13 behind fourth-placed Kent and 14 outside the second automatic promotion spot with four games remaining.
Essex gained a useful first-innings lead at Canterbury before three late wickets on day two put them firmly on top against Kent.
The visitors managed to make 273 thanks mainly to the efforts of skipper James Foster and Adam Wheater, the pair sharing a sixth-wicket stand worth 126.
They had come together with their side in serious trouble at 76-5 despite Dutchman Ryan ten Doeschate making 33.
However Kent allowed their opponents off the hook as the stubborn Foster - who faced 226 balls and hit five boundaries in his knock of 76 - and his wicketkeeping understudy Wheater (82) turned the tide.
Graham Napier made 43 to dominate a partnership of 49 with his captain and although Charlie Shreck mopped up the tail to finish with figures of 5-51, Kent came out to bat again trailing by 47.
By the close they had slumped to 9-3, Sam Northeast, Rob Key and nightwatchman Adam Riley all falling in the closing stages to leave the hosts with work to do on Friday.
Essex bowled out Kent for 226 on the opening day of their LV= County Championship Division Two clash at Canterbury.
Seam trio Graham Napier, David Masters and Maurice Chambers all bagged three wickets apiece to dismiss the hosts by 5.50pm.
Michael Powell, who made a gritty 62 in almost three hours, top-scored for Kent in tricky conditions after skipper Rob Key had won the toss and opted to bat first.
Azhar Mahmood also made a useful contribution on his first appearance in four-day cricket this summer, the former Pakistan international hitting five fours in his knock of 49.
Kent at one stage were 58-1 but then lost two wickets without adding a run, while Mahmood was eventually the last man out when he was bowled by Napier.
In the nine overs remaining in the day, Essex managed to survive the remaining nine overs in the day without suffering any damage, meaning they will resume on Friday morning on 14 without loss.