Regent Make It A Weekend Double!
Brightlingsea Regent earn their first away victory of the season against Suffolk's Needham Market
Brightlingsea Regent traveled across the Essex border over to Suffolk to face Needham Market. The R's were without key players in Pip Boyland, Connor Witherspoon and Tom Richardson who were unavailable.
Josh Gould came back into the defence from suspension allowing James Love to go back to his usual midfield role.
This was a match that marked a wonderful milestone for our long serving manager James Webster, reaching 400 games in charge. This was rather ironic that it was against an assistant manager and coach that James had shared great success with in Tom Rothery at the R's.
The match started at a really high tempo with both teams looking to create chances in the early exchanges. The R's created their first real chance when a neat Aaron Condon pass picked the run of George Doyle towards the box, he then proceeded before being denied by the on rushing Needham goalkeeper Danny Gay.
Needham created a good chance at the opposite end, when a good cross by Kieran Morphew was deep for Callum Harrison on the back post, but he fired his shot over from a tight angle.
Regent did however break the deadlock on the half hour mark, Aaron Condon got wide down the left hand side, crossing low. This was only half cleared to the edge of the box where George Doyle awaited, hitting a sweat curling effort past Danny Gay to give the visitors the lead. 0-1
Just 10 minutes later the visitors doubled the lead, when the dangerous Ricky Griggs played a neat one two with Phil Kelly, Kelly then advanced into the box, pulling the ball back for the unmarked Aaron Condon to fire home his first goal of the season and double the lead! HT 0-2
The second half kicked off with more of the same, although the yellow cards began racking up as the Referee was keen to punish almost every tackle.
Regent felt they should have had a penalty on the hour mark, a telling cross from the right by Phil Kelly looked to have found Billy Hunt on the back post, but he couldn't convert as it looked as if he was held back, but the Ref waved it away.
Regent made a tactical sub moments later and took off Freddie Gard who was given a final warning and replaced him with Robbie Rees. Unfortunately the visitors were reduced to 10 after 73 minutes, when George Doyle looked to have followed through with force on Sam Nunn, this caused a huge brawl.
With 10 minutes to play the ref evened the numerical advantage when substitute Rob Harvey got free down the left before being tripped by Dan Morphew who was subsequently shown his marching orders with a second yellow card.
The game become open for R's as they continued to create chances late on, another penalty shout was waved away when Jake Dye looked to have fouled Billy Hunt, but again the ref waved away the protests pointing for a goal kick.
Billy Hunt did finally get his reward in stoppage time, when a throw, on the right hand side, was received by Hunt. He then turned his defender, round the outside of Joe Whight, and executed a top drawer swivel finish into the roof of the net! FT 0-3
A fantastic weekend for the R's, taking maximum points. Two excellent performances and now we have a foundation to build on for the season. Up next, the R's travel to Hanwell Town of the Southern League, playing in the South East Division Step 4. This will be a tough test with a lot at stake in the worlds greatest cup competition.