BOTH Essex and Suffolk Border League sides exited the Essex Premier Cup against Essex Olympian League opposition at the quarter-final stage on Saturday.

Gas Recreation were beaten at fellow league champions and cup holders Buckhurst Hill.

Following a good first half, they led 1-0.

However, they were eclipsed in the final 45 minutes, going down 6-1.

West Bergholt, who also travelled, went agonisingly close, holding division one leaders Chingford Athletic to 2-2 after extra-time before being eliminated 7-6 on penalties.

In the premier division, Stanway Pegasus marched on at the top with a convincing 4-0 win at home to second-place Tiptree Heath, to open up a six-point gap from their rivals.

However, third-place Great Bentley, beaten just twice in the league, beat fourth-placed Flitch United away from home.

It was a crucial victory, to put them nine points behind the leaders.

With four games in hand, it is a tall order but not beyond the realms of possibility to win their first premier division championship.

The goalscorers for Bentley were Dale Brown, Charlie Durling and Louis Olymbois.

Earls Colne earned a point that keeps them reasonably safe in 14th position against strugglers Brantham Athletic Reserves, who will do well to avoid the drop with only seven league games remaining.

The hosts' scorers were Kieran Adams and Harry Salter, while Brantham’s marksmen were Louis Mott and Mathew Simpson.

Basement side White Notley continue to struggle but, nevertheless, gained an important point at Hatfield Peverel in an exciting 3-3 draw.

For the visitors, Peter Falco found the net twice and Ryan Farley-Hearn got the third.

Mid-table Lawford Lads had a comfortable 3-0 win at School Lane over visitors Barnston, with Oliver Mann getting a brace, bringing his season's tally to 24. Macauley Watson made it three.

As for Barnston, they are experiencing a better season but still remain relegation candidates.

Nevertheless, a few more points should see them move to safety from their precarious 13th position.

Little Oakley Reserves had a good 3-2 win at Tiptree Engaine with goals from Harry Harvey and Harry Windred.

Elsewhere, Alresford Colne Rangers and Dedham Old Boys shared the points in a 1-1 draw at Ford Lane.

In division one, Cressing United maintained the pace as leaders, with a crushing 7-2 victory over visiting Bures United.

Boxted Lodgers shocked fourth-place Gosfield United 4-0 with a convincing win at Cage Lane where Paul Goddard hit another two goals, bringing his tally to 24.

Danny Griffiths and Keith Hammond completed the scoring.

At Mile End Sports Ground, hosts Belle View Social found visitors FC Clacton Reserves in clinical finishing form.

The two goals scored by Ross Nash kept them in the hunt for a promotion place.

Tiptree Jobserve, currently second, look strong candidates for one of the promotion spots, following a crucial win over Colne Athletic at Florence Park.

Their 1-0 victory came courtesy of substitute Toby Booley and sees them four points behind Cressing United with three games in hand.

In division two, the top two, Hedinghams United and Shrub End United, were both successful on the road, winning 1-0 and 5-1 at Great Bentley Reserves and Tiptree Engaine Reserves respectively.

In division three, leaders St Osyth had a fine 2-0 win at Cowley Park against Harwich and Parkeston Reserves 2-0.

They hold a nine-point lead over Lawford Lads Reserves.

Results: Essex Premier Cup - quarter-finals: Buckhurst Hill 6 Gas Recreation 1, Chingford Athletic 2 West Bergholt 2 (AET, Chingford Athletic won 7-6 on penalties).

Premier division: Alresford Colne Rangers 1 Dedham Old Boys 1, Earls Colne 2 Brantham Athletic Res 2, Flitch United 2 Great Bentley 3, Hatfield Peverel 3 White Notley 3, Lawford Lads 3 Barnston 0, Tiptree Engaine 2 Little Oakley Res 3, Stanway Pegasus 4 Tiptree Heath 0.

First division: Belle Vue Social 0 FC Clacton Res 2, Boxted Lodgers 4 Gosfield United 0, Cressing United 7 Bures United 2, Mersea Island 1 Alresford Colne Rangers Res 0, Tiptree Jobserve 1 Colne Athletic 0, West Bergholt Res 4 Little Oakley A 1.

Second division: Cavendish 6 Elmden Rovers 2, Gas Recreation Res 6 Hatfield Peverel Res 4, Great Bentley Res 0 Hedinghams United 1, Harwich Rangers 2 Dedham Old Boys Res 2, Rowhedge 1 Tavern 3, Tiptree Engaine Res 1 Shrub End United 5, Tollesbury 0 Brantham Athletic A 1, Wormingford Wanderers Res 0 Tiptree Jobserve Res 4.

Third division: Bradfield Rovers 0 Tiptree Heath Res 10, Hedinghams United Res 1 Cavendish Res 1, Kelvedon Social 1 Stanway Athletic 4, Lawford Lads Res 2 Little Clacton 1, Oyster 5 Flitch United Res 1, St Osyth 2 Harwich & Parkeston Res 0.