HARWICH and Parkeston's wait for a win in Thurlow Nunn League first division south continues after they lost 2-0 at Benfleet, writes TONY ARMSTRONG.

The Shrimpers' league position is now starting to cause concern, as they are still without a victory this season following their defeat at the hands of the league leaders, at Canvey Island FC.

Injuries to key squad members are certainly not helping their cause and it is clear that at the moment, some players are not playing to their full potential.

With big-spending Ipswich Wanderers visiting the R Gwinnell and Sons Royal Oak in the FA Vase on Saturday (kick-off 3pm), Harwich are going to have to improve considerably to progress through to the next round.

The ability is undoubtedly in the squad but mistakes have recently proved costly and these have to be eliminated if there is to be progress in the Vase encounter.

Harwich made more changes yet again for the game at Benfleet, moving Joe Knight into the attack and bringing in new central defender Dan Parrish, while other players moved positionally.

Joe Knight showed from the outset he was going to cause trouble for the home defence, winning headers straight away and netting from 20 yards only to be ruled offside.

However the Harwich injury hoodoo struck again when in the 15th minute, Knight was hurt badly challenging for the ball and carried off on a stretcher to be taken to hospital.

He received treatment for a dislocated ankle and potential ligament damage and now joins other key players Jordan Heath and Connor MacLaughlin on the long-term injury list.

Knight had only just reached the dressing room when Benfleet took the lead.

Harwich conceded a corner following a bad defensive mistake and inexplicably had no defenders on the posts, allowing Benfleet to head home completely unchallenged at the foot of the post.

Worse was to follow within five minutes, when Parrish's poor clearance was intercepted and fired home spectacularly from 25 yards.

On a positive note Harwich kept battling and didn't capitulate.

But the quality balls into the danger areas were poor and failed to create any worthwhile chances to reduce the arrears, allowing Benfleet to run out comfortable victors.

Indeed, had it not been for another competent performance from goalkeeper Brad Cook, the Shrimpers' margin of the defeat could have been more.

Harwich Reserves are away to Cressing United, on Saturday.