PHIL Kelly was the two-goal hero as BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT defeated Tendring neighbours FC CLACTON 3-0 today.
Kelly, who has spent much of this year out with a broken metatarsal, netted either side of the break before a late third from Rob Thorne.
Regent stay third in the Thurlow Nunn League premier division, two points behind leaders Felixstowe & Walton and one behind Hadleigh United.
It was a day when the top five in the division all won.
Regent broke the deadlock six minutes before the break.
Kelly weaved his way into the box, skipping past a couple of challenges, before slotting a low effort past Clacton goalkeeper Joe Fowler.
The same player then doubled Brightlingsea’s lead five minutes into the second half, firing home after Josh Gould’s long throw was flicked on by Jake Holman.
Regent’s third came in the last few seconds.
Terry Rymer centred from the right and substitute Thorne converted from close range.
Brightlingsea’s other best chance fell to Gould but, from a one-on-one opportunity, he was denied by the onrushing Fowler.
Clacton also went close, hitting the post twice through Mark Bailey and Tom Holdstock.
Substitute Jake Clowsley saw a late effort parried by goalkeeper Dan Beeson.
Elsewhere, WIVENHOE TOWN and STANWAY ROVERS drew 1-1.
The Dragons took the lead shortly before half-time, when Tim Dennis headed home from Tyler Rogers’ corner.
Stanway then had the better of the second half and deservedly levelled through Charlie Goodlake’s free-kick, after a foul on Danny Slatter.
Rovers had a goal disallowed for offside near the end.
BRANTHAM ATHLETIC lost 4-0 at Hadleigh United.
In division one, promotion-chasing HALSTEAD TOWN drew 0-0 at Saffron Walden and BRAINTREE TOWN RESERVES pipped Debenahm LC 1-0.
For full non-league coverage, including pictures from North Road and the reaction of both managers, see Tuesday's Daily Gazette.