HARWICH AND PARKESTON turned up the heat on the trio above them in Thurlow Nunn League first division south with a dramatic, gutsy 3-2 victory at BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT RESERVES.

Substitute Callum Griffith lashed home their winner in stoppage time at a soggy Taydal Stadium.

It completed an excellent win for the Shrimpers, who stay fourth but moved level on points with Halstead Town and are now only one behind second-placed White Ensign.

They are six behind leaders Hashtag United.

Harwich led at half-time after an unfortunate own goal ten minutes before the break.

Sean Mathurin’s low, right-wing cross, after a raking long pass from Harvey Cowler, was turned into his own net by Regent defender Hayden Dutch.

However, the game crackled into life early in the second half with three goals in a matter of minutes.

Charlie Gilbert seized on a poor back-pass by Harry Johnson and slotted past keeper Sam Felgate.

But Harwich regained their lead almost straight away when Jake Kioussis’ low, whipped-in cross from the left fell kindly for skipper Jordan Heath, who buried a simple chance from close range.

Regent’s heads might have dropped but instead they equalised for a second time soon after.

After pouncing on a misplaced pass, they pushed forward and substitute Charlie Lindoe fired past Felgate.

It looked like an exciting contest was going to finish all-square until the closing seconds, when Regent headed clear but only as far as Griffith.

The substitute cracked an unstoppable volley which arrowed into the net via the underside of the bar, sparking scenes of wild celebration in the Harwich camp.

Boss Kieron Shelley, assistant Mike Wallace and their players were understandably delighted with the result but much credit must also go to the young Regent side, who played some excellent football and forced three or four top-class saves from Felgate.

Elsewhere on Friday night, BRANTHAM ATHLETIC slid to a 4-2 defeat at home to premier division strugglers Long Melford.

The Imps’ goals were scored by Lamell Howell and George Clarke.

There was also a match of note in Bostik League division north as WITHAM TOWN eventually succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at promotion-chasing Aveley.

Mark Ashford’s side took an early lead thanks to Johnny Ashman’s seventh-minute penalty but Harry Gibbs equalised (69) before late goals from Conor Mead (88) and Bobby Vaughan (90).

Aveley jump to third in the table, leapfrogging HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS and now a point behind second-placed MALDON AND TIPTREE.