BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT fought back from behind to secure a 1-1 draw at home to fellow promotion-chasers Merstham in their Bostik League premier division clash at the Taydal Stadium.

Jake Turner equalised just after the hour-mark to ensure an entertaining contest finished all-square, after Fabio Saraiva’s first-half opener for the Surrey side.

Brightlingsea were unfortunate to be behind at the break, having fashioned the better chances.

The pick of the bunch was Matt Cripps’ near-post header from Ricky Griggs’ corner, which appeared to cross the line before being cleared.

However, the referee waved play on and home protests fell on deaf ears.

Just before, Michael Brothers nearly capitalised on a scramble in the box but his prodded effort was blocked just in front of the line by Kershaney Samuels.

James Bradbook’s quick free-kick released Aaron Condon down the right and his perfectly-weighted cross-field pass reached Harrison Banner.

However, the midfielder’s poked effort went just the wrong side of the near post.

Regent had two other efforts of note in the first half.

Condon tried his luck with a 25-yard volley that was turned behind by keeper Amabou Tangara.

Condon then crossed for Turner but the midfielder’s header was safely gathered by Tangara.

Merstham had only fashioned one chance before the goal, when Bradbrook made a great save at his near post to deny Walter Figueira.

But it was the visitors who found themselves in front at the interval thanks to a goal just before the break.

Saraiva tried his luck with a left-foot shot from just outside the box that flashed into the top right-hand corner.

It was a cruel blow for Brightlingsea but the hosts equalised on 61 minutes.

Turner pounced to volley home from close range after a lobbed ball into the box from Condon.

Both sides pushed for a winner in the latter stages but it was not to be and both had to be content with a point apiece.

Elsewhere, MALDON AND TIPTREE pulled off a stunning 3-1 victory at fellow high-fliers Aveley.

Aveley were second in division north and the Jammers third at the start of the day, but those positions were reversed after a fantastic result at Parkside.

Jorome Slew notched twice, with a goal either side of the break, before an own goal from Harry Gibbs.

Substitute Firmin Ngandu slotted home a late penalty for the hosts but it was not enough to take the gloss off a stunning result for Wayne Brown’s side

COGGESHALL TOWN, in fifth, were also 3-1 winners after a comfortable victory at home to Romford.

Tyler Corlett gave the Seedgrowers a first-half lead and more goals followed from Tyler Brampton and Tevan Allen.

Nick Reynolds’ last-gasp consolation was too little, too late for Romford.

The visitors’ chances had received an early blow following the 15th-minute sending-off of George Akpele.

HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS are fourth in the division but were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Mildenhall Town, at the Aspen Waite Arena.

Both goals came in the latter stages, with Matthew Price giving the hosts a 75th-minute lead – only for Toib Adeyemi’s own goal to level matters soon after.

Division north leaders Bowers and Pitsea proved too strong for WITHAM TOWN, running out 3-0 winners at the Len Salmon Stadium.

David Knight notched in either half, with the hosts' third following from Quentin Monville.

Overall, it was a great day for Maldon and Coggeshall while Regent can be more than satisfied with their hard-earned point against Merstham.

However, our star performance award has to go to the on-song Jammers.