HARWICH and Parkeston bowed out of the Essex Senior Cup after a 3-1 defeat at White Ensign, writes TERRY FRANCIS.

The Shrimpers were beaten by the Great Wakering-based side, after a hard-fought and entertaining cup tie.

White Ensign made a whirlwind start, with a much-changed Harwich team trying to get to grips with a rearranged line-up.

Harwich goalkeeper Brad Cook was forced to make a good stop before with only five minutes gone, the hosts took the lead with a cross that was netted from a couple of yards out.

Harwich pulled themselves together and could have equalised in the tenth minute with an opportunity created by Luke Mayhew but the home keeper did well to block Liam White's shot.

A Jamie Beecham free-kick caused consternation in the White Ensign defence but they managed to scramble the ball out at the expense of a corner.

Harwich were playing the better football but in time added on at the close of the first half, White Ensign scored a second goal with one of their quick breaks and a well-taken finish.

Seven minutes into the second half, Harwich were rewarded for their efforts when in a well-worked attack saw White play the ball through to Beecham, who reduced the arrears with an volley that gave the goalkeeper no chance.

The match was now finely poised but before the second half had reached the midway stage, the Shrimpers suffered a blow when Brandon Rusby received a straight red card for a tackle.

Despite being reduced to ten men, Harwich fought tigerishly and with the game now end to end, still looked capable of equalising.

However it was not to be and White Ensign sealed victory with a third goal, scored in the final minutes.