MEKHI McKenzie was the two-goal hero as FC CLACTON ran out 3-1 winners in their Friday night derby against BRANTHAM ATHLETIC.

The sides met under the Austin Arena floodlights in an eagerly-awaited Thurlow Nunn League clash.

Both went into the premier division contest in form, with Clacton having won their previous two and three out of four and the Imps having won three in a row – a sequence that started with their excellent FA Vase success at West Essex.

The latter had also kept clean sheets in their last two.

However, it was the Seasiders celebrating by the end of the night thanks to an impressive first-half performance that saw them go into the break 3-0 up.

McKenzie scored their first two and, strangely, both were carbon-copy goals.

Both were near-post headers and both from inviting, inswinging corners by Billy Wales.

They came after 17 and 24 minutes and Clacton added their third just before the break, after Jack Clampin’s brilliant effort was pushed onto the left-hand post by goalkeeper Luke Avenell.

Jordan Lartey reacted quickest to bury the loose ball.

It was a tremendous half for the hosts but they didn’t have it all their own way in a more even second period.

In fact, Brantham scored the only goal just before the hour-mark – a powerful finish from former Seasider Karl Andrade.

However, it proved only a consolation as Clacton notched their third straight win, building on the recent successes against Hadleigh United and Walsham-le-Willows.

Elsewhere, just down the road at HOLLAND FC, there was another Friday night derby as the hosts welcomed Tendring neighbours BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT RESERVES.

The first division south contest finished as a very comfortable 6-1 victory for the Eastcliff side.

Also in first division south, HALSTEAD TOWN beat May and Baker 2-1.