Big night ahead for Brightlingsea Regent and Braintree Town, for very different reasons

Action fron Braintree's Town FA Trophy defeat at Dulwich Hamlet. The Iron have been going well in th

Action fron Braintree's Town FA Trophy defeat at Dulwich Hamlet. The Iron have been going well in the National League, though, and they take on Bromley away tonight. Picture: ALAN STUCKEY - Credit: Archant

It’s another big night for Essex non-league clubs, both in the National League and the Ryman North, headed by Brightlingsea Regent’s promotion surge towards Step Three of the non-league pyramid.

The R’s powered to the top of Ryman North on Saturday, thanks to a 3-0 win at Ware, leapfrogging local rivals and long-term leaders Maldon & Tiptree, who were edged out 3-2 at Bury Town.

James Webster’s Brightlingsea side also have a game in hand over the Jammers, which they play tonight at home to Soham Town Rangers.

A seventh win on the trot for the R’s – they have won 11 and drawn the other two of their last 13 games – would see the North Road club open up a commanding six-point lead at the top, with just nine fixtures remaining.

Tonight’s visitors Soham have other concerns. They are just one places and two points clear of the relegation zone, after scrambling a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw at fellow strugglers Great Wakering Rovers on Saturday.

Elsewhere in Ryman North, Heybridge Swifts will look to bounce back from Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat to promotion-chasing AFC Hornchurch when they travel to high-flying Thurrock.

It will be a tough ask for Jody Brown’s men. Thurrock are fourth in the table, and will go third if they can beat the Swifts, who are down in 19th spot, five points clear of the bottom three.

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Last night’s Ryman North match between Aveley and Bury Town was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

Meanwhile, Braintree Town, who are four points and four places clear of the National League relegation zone, are on the road at mid-table Bromley tonight.

Hakan Hayrettin’s men have only lost three of their last 13 league fixtures, to give themselves some breathing space. They were held to a goalless home draw by fourth-from-bottom Maidstone on Saturday.

Maidstone are at second-placed Dagenham & Redbridge tonight, while bottom club York City travel to league leaders Lincoln City.

Southport and North Ferriby, the other two clubs currently in the drop zone, are not in action tonight, so this is a good chance for Iron to extend the gap between themselves and the bottom four, ahead of difficult home games against Wrexham and Lincoln.

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