HASHTAG United’s first ever FA Cup run came to a heart-breaking halt as they were beaten on penalties by Braintree Town, reports Leon Imber. 

The game was tightly contested throughout and a difference of three tiers between the two sides was not evident.

Toby Aromolaran fired the Tags ahead before Braintree cancelled them out immediately to secure a 1-1 draw before Town won 7-6 on penalties. 

The defeat is obviously devastating, but everyone at Hashtag United has every right to be massively proud of their cup run.

Billericay Town also fell to a shootout defeat against Brackley Town.

Jamie O’Hara’s side seemed certain to be entering the third qualifying round when Jake Robinson added to Jai Reason’s opener to put them 2-0 up.

Two late strikes by the National League North team took the tie to a shootout in which Billericay fell just short, losing 4-2.

But FA Cup action was not all doom and gloom for Essex sides, and it was quite the opposite for Mark Bentley who also had to endure a penalty shootout, but his Canvey Island team emerged victorious.

Biggleswade Town were the opponents and they certainly made the tie difficult for Canvey, levelling the game up at 2-2 after Conor Hubble and Eliott Ronto fired the Gulls into an early two goal lead.

But Bentley's side won 4-3 on penalties with goalkeeper Bobby Mason keeping out five spot-kicks. 

Canvey have been in good form so far this season and with that, will be hoping their momentum also transpires into a good cup run.

Concord Rangers had to wait until Sunday to travel to Potters Bar Town for their FA Cup tie.

It was the National League South side that came away with a 2-1 victory after a difficult game against Potters Bar.

It was Concord’s first game of the season and so Danny Scopes will be happy with his side’s victorious performance.

Elsewhere, in the Isthmian Premier Division, East Thurrock United were held to a 1-1 draw against Brightlingsea Regent.

Phillip Brown equalised for Paul Martin’s men in the 88th minute, after Khris Oti looked to have secured all three points for Brightlingsea when opening the scoring in the 84th.

The draw interrupts a run of four straight defeats for ‘Rocks’, and so the East Thurrock camp will be pleased with the point.

In the Isthmian North Division, Darren Manning will be delighted with his Hullbridge Sports side as their 3-0 victory over AFC Sudbury sees them finish the day at the top of the table.

Manning has previously expressed his desire for consistency in his team and they have shown so far in the league that they mean business.

There is, of course, still much of the season to go, but looking at the manner of results in the season that has so far been played, Hullbridge look to be a strong outfit.

Great Wakering Rovers also recorded a 3-0 victory, but in their case against Romford.

It was Stephen Butterworth’s team’s best performance of the season so far, as they recorded their first win of the campaign, and scored three against a Romford side that has looked strong defensively so far.

Lastly, Friday night action saw Southend Manor take on West Essex in the Essex Senior League.

It was a poor night for Manor as even after their opponents had been reduced to 10 men, they still fell to a 6-0 defeat.

It was certainly a night to forget, as they suffered a heavy defeat for the third time this season.