It is one of those days when a number of our north Essex BetVictor Isthmian League sides have justifiable calls to take the top performers honour, with three particularly strong contenders in FA Trophy action.

Division north trio Maldon & Tiptree, Heybridge Swifts and Witham Town were all taking a break from league duties and were looking to make progress in the Trophy.

Witham were in preliminary round action, while Swifts and the Jammers were in the first qualifying round and all three had reason to be satisfied with their afternoon’s work.

Maldon & Tiptree came into the game having won every one of their previous 14 games this season and that run was extended to 15 as they won 5-2 at home against Cray Valley PM.

The visitors are sat fifth in BetVictor Isthmian League division south east and gave their hosts a fright as they took the lead in the eighth minute.

However, it was a brief setback for the Jammers as a first-half hat-trick from Charlee Hughes quickly established Maldon’s superiority.

That was questioned slightly when Francis Babalola got Cray Vally back to within a goal of their hosts, but Hughes made sure that was as close as they got when he added his and Maldon’s fourth in the 66th minute.

And when Jorome Slew added a fifth for the Jammers late on, their progression was ensured.

There was also a positive first qualifying round result for Heybridge Swifts as they won 2-0 at BetVictor Isthmian League division south central side Staines Town.

Having been held in the first half, Swifts stretched away after the break with a brace of goals from Jack Adlington-Pile to also book a place in the second qualifying round.

Both were impressive wins, but it was a draw that has earned the day’s top performance award and Witham Town are the recipients.

Witham have stumbled a bit in their division north form in recent games and a trip to an Ashford United side flying high in division south east’s top three was always going to be tough.

Witham did go ahead when an own goal gave them the lead after just nine minutes, but form appeared to be playing out when United’s Jay May scored either side of half-time.

With time running out, it appeared Witham were heading out, but their courage and commitment was roundly rewarded in the 90th minute when Lewis Hewitt snatched an equaliser to ensure Town earned a replay and the top performance award.

Meanwhile, Brightlingsea Regent were in BetVictor Isthmian League premier division action and a 1-1 draw against visiting Wingate & Finchley moved the R’s out of the bottom three.

They were trailing at half-time, but Billy Hunt scored the equaliser five minutes from the end to take a point and end a run of five defeats.

Coggeshall Town had a game in Velocity Trophy group one and strikes by Ross Wall and Josh Pollard saw the Seedgrowers come back from a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 with Felixstowe & Walton United after 90 minutes.

However, Felixstowe won the ensuing penalty shootout 5-4.