(Photo by Tim Edwards)
West Essex are always guaranteed to score goals, they sometimes ship few as well, and on Friday evening they somehow managed to produce defeat from the jaws of victory. Cameron Gray opened the West Essex account in the 29th minute, but Haverhill Borough levelled up thanks to an own goal. But the scores were level for only two minutes as that all it took for the hosts to re-take the lead, with Michael Mignot providing the goal and when he then scored again in the 58th minute it was looking all good for the hosts. However by the end of the ninety minutes they had seen a player sent off, another player sent to the sin bin, and had shipped three goals as Alfie Carroll, Reiss Oteng and Ben Bailey completed a turnaround that saw Haverhill Borough score twice in the space of a minute to equalise and then take the lead which they held onto to complete an amazing turnaround. The only other ESL team not to progress was Woodford Town who lost their all-ESL encounter at Hoddesdon Town. Cyrus Babaie and Jack Gibbs scored for the hosts, with Jeremiah Luwero notching for the Woods. Hashtag United eased their way into the 1st Round with a 5-0 win over Wormley Rovers. George Smith handed the Tags a 5th minute lead and extended it when he scored his second in the 18th minute. Harry Honesty made it 3-0 on 29 minutes and a wonder strike from Jesse Walker-Lassen completed the first half scoring; Josh Osude added a fifth eight minutes from time to add further polish to the win. Walthamstow booked their place in the 1st Round draw with a 3-1 win over London Lions. Tim Monsheju, Michael Toner and Callum Ibe scored the Stow goals, Nicholas Landesburg scored for the visitors. Clapton meanwhile pulled off a 3-1 away win at Potten United, with Matt Bentley (2) and Simeon Beckford scoring the goals, while the hosts at least scored a consolation through George Brinkman. Cockfosters fell behind to a 30th minute goal from Kleon James, but Ned Clarke levelled up in the 75th minute. But the hosts re-took the lead through Magnus Orelaja in the 80th minute, before Cockfosters again equalised, this time from a Ryan Wade penalty in the 86th minute. That was perhaps a precursor for what was to follow as Cockfosters went on to win the game 4-2 on penalties. Hadley also had to win their tie via the penalty route after Elliot Harris had notched a very late equaliser for Enfield Borough, Billy Baird had given the Bricks the lead which they almost held onto until the closing stages. Hadley however went on to win the game 8-7 on penalties.