By JOHN CHUBB
Of the local teams involved in Saturday’s FA Trophy ties, the award for comeback of the day must go to Brentwood Town.
The Isthmian North outfit took on Chichester City of the Isthmian South East at the Brentwood Centre Arena, in what was the first ever meeting between the two sides.
And the match could not have got off to a worse start for Adam Flanagan’s men, as the visitors scored twice in the opening five minutes through Giou Iordache and Corey Heath.
But Andy Freeman scored on each side of the break before Rob Harvey snatched the winner with the game into the fourth minute of injury time, to complete a superb turnaround for the hosts.
Another Isthmian North side through to the Third Round Qualifying stage are Barking, who took on Harlow Town of the South Central Division and beat them 1-0 courtesy of a late goal from substitute Dumebi GB-Dumaka, who scored four minutes from the end.
And another all-Essex affair between Maldon & Tiptree and Grays Athletic ended in an emphatic 4-1 win for the home side.
First-half goals from Adam Vyse, William Bushell and Andre Hasanally put Wayne Brown’s Jammers in command.
Hamza Kaid made it four after the break before Mitchell Hahn scored a late consolation for Grays.
Waltham Abbey exited the competition after a narrow 2-1 defeat away to fellow Isthmian South Central outfit Uxbridge.
Leon McKenzie had given Abbey the lead when he scored a first-half penalty, but the Middlesex men struck back in the second half, John-Jo Bates levelling just after an hour before Alan Hedley clinched the winner a minute from time.
And Romford are also out, losing 2-0 at Tooting & Mitcham United, for whom Daniel Williams scored twice.
Glenn Tamplin’s team ended the match with 10 men, after their captain David Winfield received a second yellow card.
With drawn Trophy ties being decided on the day – no extra time or replays this season – some matches ended with a penalty shootout.
One such game was Heybridge Swifts’ tie away to Northwood, in which the visitors had stormed into a 3-0 lead before the break with Emmanuel Osei-Owusu and Andy Fennell (2) on the scoresheet.
But Northwood came back fighting in the second half, goals from Marcela Graca and Devonte Totesaut reducing the deficit before a late header by their goalkeeper Hafed Al-Droubi – who had come forward for a free-kick – made it 3-3 after 90 minutes.
But Swifts – who welcomed ex-boss Karl Duguid back to the club this week in a joint managerial role alongside Stuart Nethercott – held their nerve from the penalty spot to win the shootout 5-4.
Coggeshall Town went through in a similar fashion after their tie at Bedfont Sports finished goalless, the Seedgrowers going through after scoring six penalties to the hosts’ five.
But Tilbury were not so fortunate.
The current Isthmian North pacesetters drew 2-2 away to Southern League Division One Central leaders Aylesbury United, thanks to goals from Cameron Brodie and Brian Moses either side of a brace from the Ducks’ Juwon Akintunde.
But the hosts managed to win the resulting shootout 4-2 to progress to the next round.
But Aveley, who last season reached the quarter-finals of this competition for the first time in their history, managed to win an epic shootout at the end of their tie.
Keith Rowland’s side travelled to Hanwell Town of the Isthmian South Central and managed a 1-1 draw, George Sykes putting them in front after 65 minutes before Ogo Obi equalised for the West Londoners four minutes later.
Each side ended up with 11 penalty takers, but the Millers managed an 8-7 victory and went through.
Canvey Island were drawn away to Ramsgate, but the tie was cancelled after a number of the Gulls squad had tested positive for Covid-19 during the week.
Canvey have withdrawn from this season’s competition and the Kent club therefore received a bye into the next round.
The draw for the Third Round Qualifying took place on Monday and these are the ties that will involve our local teams:
Maldon & Tiptree v Kingstonian
Bowers & Pitsea v Hornchurch
East Thurrock United v Cheshunt
Coggeshall Town v Wingate & Finchley
Biggleswade Town v Heybridge Swifts
Aveley v Beaconsfield Town
Barking v Sittingbourne
Bishops Stortford v Brentwood Town
Ties are due to be played on Saturday 31st October.