BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT returned with a well-earned point after starting life in the Bostik League premier division with a 1-1 draw at Tooting and Mitcham.

Regent were promoted as last season’s division north champions while their hosts went up after taking the south honours.

Both sides were therefore sailing unchartered waters but it was James Webster’s Brightlingsea who led at the break through Tom Richardson.

The striker, who had been struggling with an injury in the build-up to the big game, nodded his side in front after 26 minutes, heading home an inviting free-kick from Aaron Condon.

Tooting then levelled three minutes into the second half through Billy Dunn but the encouraging point will no doubt put Brightlingsea in great heart for Tuesday’s eagerly-awaited first home game, against Leiston.

Meanwhile, Regent have completed the signing of Harry Wright, on loan from Ipswich Town.

The young goalkeeper is the son of Town legend and former Arsenal stopper Richard Wright.

Boss Webster said: "It's great to be able to bring in the Ipswich youngster on loan and I'm happy to be able to help young players develop with us.

"We hope this can tie us with a healthy relationship with the Championship club and offer opportunities for players to progress their careers with Brightlingsea Regent."

Elsewhere, it was a winning start to the season for both HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS and MALDON AND TIPTREE.

Swifts’ success was a 2-1 triumph at home to Mildenhall Town, who were promoted from last season’s Thurlow Nunn League.

Reece Grant scored both their goals – both in the first half-hour of the contest.

Mildenhall responded with a late penalty but it was not enough to prevent the hosts taking maximum points.

Maldon’s success was also by a slender margin – a 1-0 victory at Ware.

Chris Millar scored the only goal of the game four minutes before half-time.

WITHAM TOWN lost 2-1 at home to Potters Bar Town, at the Village Glass Stadium.

All three goals came during a frenetic start to the second half.

Usman Adeniji put Adam Flint’s side ahead but the visitors quickly levelled through Eoin Casey and then grabbed a winner thanks to George Nicholas.

Witham head to Bowers and Pitsea on Tuesday while Maldon welcome AFC Sudbury to Park Drive.

Swifts go to Romford on Wednesday.