LEE Connor was relieved to sign James Pellin in time for Basildon United’s Isthmian League Cup victory over Potters Bar Town.

Connor was facing the prospect of being without a goalkeeper for the trip to the Isthmian Premier League side in the first round of the knockout stages after first choice shot-stopper Clarke Bogard pulled out of the squad through illness.

However, Pellin was able to make his Bees debut in the 4-2 victory and caretaker manager Connor was impressed with the custodian.

“Preparation for the game was difficult because had some players cup-tied, while others were injured or ill,” said Connor.

“Clarke pulled out of the squad a few hours before the game but, thankfully, I had signed James.

“Before knowing he would be ill, Clarke had already told me he may be late to the game so I made sure we had James signed in case.

“I thought it was important to have James signed as a back-up plan and it’s just as well I did because otherwise we wouldn’t have had a goalkeeper.

“James had contacted me and said he had been out of action for a couple of months with a back injury.

“He had been playing for Stansted at the start of the season and, although he knew Clarke is our first choice goalkeeper, he wanted to be amongst the lads.

“I invited him over for training and then he played against Potters Bar.

“He was excellent and it’s great to have him on board.”

Basildon found themselves behind at half-time thanks to George Quarrington-Carter netting four minutes before the interval.

But goals from Harry Norman and Danny Norton inside the opening seven minutes of the second period allowed the Bees to turn the contest on its head.

Okoh then notched a ninth goal in his last 10 outings before Roman Michael-Percil halved the deficit for Potters Bar.

However, Adam Vyse ensured there would be no way back for the hosts as he added his name to the scoresheet three minutes later.

And Connor - whose side beat Tilbury, Hullbridge Sports, Great Wakering Rovers, Canvey Island and Witham Town to top spot in Group Six prior to overcoming Potters Bar - is pleased to be in the hat for the next round of the Isthmian League Cup.

“We did our homework and the boys executed the game-plan excellently,” added Connor.

“I didn’t think we deserved to go in at half-time behind and so we told the boys to take it to them in the second half. That is exactly what they did.”