There can justifiably be a couple of contenders for performance of the weekend from north Essex sides playing in the Bostik League – but one does stand out.

The award this weekend was picked up early and came from division north side Witham Town when they were in FA Trophy extra preliminary round action on Friday night.

Their opposition was provided by a familiar foe – Coggeshall Town – as the Seedgrowers and Witham met for the fourth time, despite the season being less than two months old.

The first of those previous meetings had come in the FA Cup, when they drew 0-0, but the next two – one the FA Cup replay and one in the league – had seen Coggeshall win both and they came into the Trophy game as favourites.

Witham had picked up just a point from their last four league outings and sat bottom of division north, while Coggeshall had lost just once in six division north games.

Coggeshall also have an FA Cup third qualifying round tie at Weston Super Mare to look forward to next weekend, but a superb result for Witham stopped them in their tracks in the FA Trophy.

Witham boss Mark Ashford said before the game that he wanted his players to embrace the challenge of facing their high-flying local rivals and they stood tall to deliver their most significant result so far under him as manager.

Witham keeper Luca Collins was named as their man-of-the-match, but the men bringing glory for them were L’Heureux Menga and Danny Norton in the 77th minute.

Menga drove hard into the Coggeshall area on the left and slotted the ball past keeper James Bransgrove, with Norton ensuring there was no goalline clearance as he forced the ball into the net from close range.

The morale-boosting win was enough to earn Witham a place in the preliminary round draw and also the performance of the weekend prize.

Joining Coggeshall in bowing out of the FA Trophy at the extra preliminary round stage were Heybridge Swifts as life after manager Jody Brown got under way with a 4-2 defeat at Ashford Town.

Brown had quit as Swifts boss in midweek and despite two goals from Matthew Price and

Alieu Njie in two second-half minutes, the damage had been done before half-time by the hosts.

Another north Essex side was in Bostik League action, with Brightlingsea Regent putting forward a case for display of the weekend in their premier division action.

Regent are a side who are full of confidence after their FA Cup exploits and that showed on their trip to top-five side Folkstone Invicta.

The R’s led 2-0 thanks to two Harvey Hodd strikes and although the Kent hosts halved that with a goal on the stroke of half-time, Amar Lewis scored after the break to restore the two-goal lead.

Invicta did get one back in the 90th minute to make things close at the end but Regent held out for an important points haul on the road.

The game ended on a sour note, though, as two-goal hero Hodd was sent off in the final minute along with Folkestone's Josh Vincent. 

Despite that, it was still an important win for Brightlingsea but they were pipped by Witham for the star performance award.