THERE are surely two contenders for non-league performance of the day from our local sides operating in steps four, five and six of the pyramid.

While the Bostik League and Thurlow Nunn League had some of their members concentrating on FA Cup action, others had their sights set on points in league action and the possibility of climbing their respective tables.

Among them were FC Clacton, who were probably feeling justifiably proud of themselves with five minutes to go at Newmarket Town.

The Seasiders have been in good form of late and knew a win against the Jockeys could have taken them into the top six of the Thurlow Nunn League premier division.

That looked a strong possibility as goals from Harry McDonald, Adam Hampson and Matt Eve saw them 3-2 ahead at half-time and it stayed that way for 40 minutes after the break.

However, Newmarket hit back with two late goals to break travelling Clacton hearts as they lost 4-3.

That was it for local premier division action, but there was plenty going on for north Essex sides in division one south and it was here that the sides contending for result of the day resided.

Brightlingsea Regent Reserves weren't on that list and stayed lodged at the foot of the table after losing 2-1 against May & Baker, while Holland FC were another having an off-day as they lost 3-0 at Hackney Wick.

However, the first contender - Coggeshall United - did have an enjoyable afternoon after a 4-3 win at high-flying White Ensign.

Coggeshall had to come from behind twice to pick up their win as a George Smith double and goals apiece from Jack Hayes and Mwetsi Matangi earned them three points.

However, just pipping them for the top performance award are Halstead Town.

The Humbugs have had a number of players unavailable in the opening part of the season, but they are getting back up to full quota and if their 5-1 thrashing of Burnham Ramblers is anything to go by, then the rest of the division may want to take note.

A hat-trick from former Colchester United trainee Jordan Pavett was an obvious highlight, but they also had Kane Gilbert and Marcus Warren on target.

The win kept Halstead two points clear at the top of the table and was enough to earn them top billing on the day.

However, for a game with plenty of incident, then the one at Wivenhoe Town would be hard to rival as the Dragons drew 3-3 with Little Oakley.

It was a game where fortunes ebbed and flowed throughout, with Wivenhoe's goals coming from Aaron Donaldson and Charley Cook, while the Acorns had Lewis Woods and Harry Mann on target.

But if three goals apiece wasn't enough incident, the game was ended with a late melee that saw two players from each side make early exits as it finished nine-a-side.

Braintree Town Reserves had a good day on the road as they won 2-1 at Wormley Rovers.

Meanwhile, Bostik League action was quiet due to sides being in FA Cup action, but Maldon & Tiptree made good use of their time in beating Barking 2-1 to move up to third.

George Sykes scored Maldon's second after signing for them this week.

There was a defeat for Witham Town, though, as, despite twice holding the lead and then bringing it back to 3-3, they were beaten 5-3 by leaders Basildon United.

It was an eventful game, with three goals coming from penalties - two for Witham and one for Basildon - and Witham ended with ten men after the sending off of Danny Norton for two bookings.

But Basildon ended up as winners thanks to two Brian Moses goals in the last 20 minutes.