The centre-half struck the decisive effort with just minutes left at Roots Hall, with the victory ensuring that Bolton now hold a ten-point cushion on third-place Fleetwood ahead of the Cod Army's game at Oxford on Wednesday.
And speaking following the final whistle, manager Phil Parkinson covered these points...
On the dramatic ending to the game against Southend…
It was certainly a big moment for us and a great win too. First half we dominated and had a lot of good chances, hit the post twice and had an effort cleared off the line.
In the second half though, Southend started strongly but we weathered that little bit of a storm and came through the other side of it.
We probably had the better chances towards the end of the game and I don’t think anybody here tonight could deny that we deserved the win.
Southend are a very good side and were on a great run of form prior to this game too.
There was always going to be an intensity about the atmosphere in this tight stadium and I was so pleased with how we dealt with that tonight.
I am so proud of the performance from the boys though. At half time, we spoke about not getting drawn into the antics that were going on, but we remained cool and calm which makes it ever more pleasing.
On Mark Beevers’ fifth goal in as many away games…
Mark has been a colossus all season. We ask all the boys to chip in with goals and him and Wheats always look dangerous when the ball comes in the box.
Beeves meanwhile has shown that he’s not just got good quality with his header, but also with both feet which he proved with his goal at Oxford and again tonight.
On the determination shown by his side…
We kept knocking on the door and it’s important when opportunities fall for you, that you don’t get over anxious and start chasing the game.
It happened a couple of times in the second half, but generally the shape of the team when we were attacking was very, very good.
It is so important that it doesn’t turn into a game of basketball, end to end – we need to lock in and attack constantly.
All in all though, it’s a huge win for us and we now move onto Scunthorpe which will be another tough game.
It was great to get a clean sheet too as everybody worked hard for that one tonight.
We’ve now got five games to go, but it’s important that we don’t take our foot off the gas and think that the job is done before it is – that is really crucial.
We need to keep showing the qualities that we have done and if we do that, we’ll have a really good chance. Nothing less than tonight’s performance though will be good enough at the weekend.
On the loss of Gary Madine…
I’m not too sure how bad Gaz’s injury is at the moment – he played well before he came off and we’ll assess him. I have to give Max Clayton a lot of credit though because he made a very good contribution.
Obviously he has different qualities to Chris Long who we threw on against Shrewsbury, but he can compete in the air as well alongside being a very good technical player.
Max has waited so long for his opportunity, so it was important that the lads gave a little bit extra to make it worth that wait for him too.
And on the travelling fans…
They were superb once again and travelled in their numbers. It was certainly a special moment there at the end, for the lads to celebrate with our fans, it really was.
It’s a long way to come on a Tuesday night and I thank every single one of them for their support tonight.
We’ve had some long away trips of late and we knew it would be really tough for us when we looked at the fixtures, but we’ve shown resilience and that’s important.
We need to continue that at the weekend though and of course, our unbeaten run continues too.
After the disappointing draw against Chesterfield at the weekend, we asked if we could make that point look like a good one in hindsight and I think we have done that tonight.