Surrey will have to dodge the Chelmsford showers to claim the final five wickets that they need for a remarkable third consecutive win, and to move within one point of second placed Northamptonshire.
The forecast has light rain showers throughout the day which could scupper the push, but hopefully there will be enough time to force the issue.
Yesterday Surrey added 186 to their overnight 104-4 despite losing Jason Roy and Gareth Batty early in the day. Zander de Bruyn progressed to his fourth Championship hundred of a magnificent season and Chris Jordan bettered his highest first class score for the second time in three days with an attacking 79 not out.
That left Essex needing 349 runs to win and again they got off to a sedate start but there was no hundred partnership for the openers this time. Tim Linley bowled Tom Westley in the 11th over and Owais Shah four overs later, he is now just a single wicket from recording 70 victims this season. Pragyan Ojha then got into his stride and took the wickets of Mickleburgh and Wheater before Linley returned to have Godleman caught behind.
So weather permitting Essex require another 207 runs, and with ten Doeschate, Foster and Napier still to come that isn't impossible and Surrey require five wickets. Fingers crossed the weather holds off and the charge for promotion continues.