Colchester United will host Bostik Premier side Thurrock FC in the Third Round of the Essex Senior Cup, after the draw was made on Wednesday evening.
The BBC Essex Senior Cup returned in late August with three First Round ties involving sides from the Essex Senior and Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties Leagues.
The three winners of the ties, all of which finished 2-1, progressed into a larger Second Round as Essex sides from Steps Five and Six battled with one another for a place in Round Three and the potential of a mouth-watering clash with a Sky Bet Football League club.
The opening tie of the new campaign saw Redbridge take on Basildon United in an all-Essex Senior League clash at Oakside. The match remained goalless at the break as the home side rued missed opportunities and they were left to think about those chances when Basildon’s Marcus Bowers gave the away side a 55th-minute lead from the penalty spot.
But The Motormen of Redbridge responded swiftly, levelling inside a couple of minutes through Calvin Poku as the ball bounced around the penalty area before the forward showed some composure to fire into the roof of the net.
An entertaining game took a special moment to win it and it went the way of the visiting Bees as Bowers curled home a fine free kick on 63 minutes to seal his second goal of the evening and a home Second Round tie with Stanway Rovers.
Two sides from Division One of the Thurlow Nunn League met at Milbank Stadium, Rosemary Lane as Halstead Town and Holland met for the second time already this season.
It was the Halstead Humbugs who edged an opening day thriller in North Essex and they came out on top again on home soil. Holland enjoyed much of the early chances, with Halstead goalkeeper Joe Fowler keeping the visitors out through a string of fine saves.
But two goalkeeper misjudgements meant the game was level at half time. A long ball forward saw Harry Salter outjump Holland stopper Dan Beeston to nod the hosts in front on 34 minutes but, just seven minutes, later Fowler misread a ball forward at the other end. As it bounced over the stranded custodian, Holland’s Tom Holdstock was on-hand to finish into an empty net.
The winner arrived with 57 played as a fine move saw Jamie Baker’s cross neatly finished by Karl Andrade as Halstead progressed to a Second Round tie away to Stansted or Wadham Lodge, who completed the opening round the following evening.
Stansted were drawn at home, but the tie was switched to Wadham Lodge’s Walthamstow base due to ongoing cricket commitments at the Airportmen’s Hargrave Park ground.
It quickly looked like home advantage might be on Lodge’s side as Jayden Hock-Rising fired home an excellent finish to give his side a 7th-minute lead, but Stansted worked their way back into the contest despite Lodge holding a slender half time lead after Jayden Lloyd stabbed a golden opportunity just wide for the travelling team.
Stansted ‘keeper Tim Pitman came within a whisker of an unlikely leveller as his huge ball upfield bounced off the crossbar but, nine minutes after the restart, his side were on level terms. Skipper Dave Limber turned the ball in from a corner before the tie was won on 69 minutes as Jack Sykes’ angled shot was pushed out and Julien Lloyd fired home the loose ball at the back post.