BURES United caused an upset in the preliminary round of the Essex and Suffolk Border League's Knockout Cup, beating senior side Brantham Athletic Reserves.

Division two leaders Shrub End United disposed of first division Stanway Rovers Reserves at The Hawthorns.

In the premier division, Alresford Colne Rangers lead at the top by one point from Stanway Pegasus, Tiptree Heath and, perhaps surprisingly, Little Oakley Reserves, who find themselves in second place.

Wins for Gas Recreation and West Bergholt reinforced the view that the premier division may be the most competitive for some years.

Bures' reward for their 4-2 victory will be a home tie in the first-round proper against Little Clacton, thanks to goals from Thomas Bailey, Harry Liskins and Hunter Wallis.

Lloyd Fletcher received two yellow cards from referee Ricky Johnson.

Ryan Amass, scoring his sixth goal of the season, was Shrub End’s hero and they now host Bell Vue Social in the next round.

Also in the cup, Earls Colne narrowly beat Hedinghams from division two with a brace from Francisco Rodriguez and Hatfield Peverel won the all-premier tie against visiting Tiptree Heath 4-1.

Lewis Nial scored a hat-trick, with the fourth coming from Joe Older.

Cameron Ward replied with the consolation.

The other sides to progress were Cressing United, Kelvedon Social, Sudbury Sports and Tiptree Jobserve.

Little Oakley Reserves' 2-1 win at Barnston sees them jointly on 13 points.

Their scorers were Josh Caudill and Harry Harvey while Barnston, currently on a losing sequence of three matches, replied through Charlie Hannam.

This success was complimented by Oakley’s 4-3 midweek win against Tiptree Engaine at the Memorial Ground.

They fought back in the second half, having trailed 3-1 at the interval, but goals from Ross Brazitis, Josh Caudill and a brace from Robert Pratt completed the revival.

Leaders Alresford Colne Rangers produced a strong second-half display, beating Dedham Old Boys at The Drift, having led 2-1 at the break.

However, they further consolidated in the second half with the goals coming from Jack Johnson and Callum Rogers, each with two, and the remaining strikes from Benjamin Hughes and Shane Goodyear.

Promoted Flitch United maintained their impressive recovery, winning their third successive game, defeating visiting Tiptree Engaine 3-2.

A brace from Shane Pyne and the third from Stephen Smith sent them climbing the table to tenth position while the visitors slipped down the table to 13th, following three successive defeats.

Tiptree’s marksmen were Jordon Marsh and Harry Runicles.

Stanway Pegasus fought out a 3-3 draw with visiting Great Bentley, who were stretching their unbeaten run to four games and are now handily placed in sixth spot.

The home side's scorers were Lewis Blanchett while Ryan Mahon struck twice and the replies came from Dale Brown’s brace and the third from Joseph Hurd.

Finally, in the senior division, White Notley’s bright start has seemingly stalled. Gas Recreation were the victors down at Oak Farm with a 3-2 win.

The goals came from a Ryan Dale brace and Ryan Taylor while the home reply came from Robbie Bennett and Josh Goody.

In the first division, Stanway Pegasus Reserves lost their unbeaten tag but remain top, following their 4-2 defeat at FC Clacton 4-2.

Two goals each from Terrance Kanganda and Duaine Nwadikwa won the points.

This was Clacton’s third win since their opening season drubbing against Sudbury Sports.

Elsewhere, promoted Gosfield United comfortably beat visiting Boxted Lodgers 6-1 to move into second place with a hat-trick from Steven Hill, a brace from Michael Storey and John Slater.

Paul Goddard replied for the Lodgers.

Results: Knockout Cup - preliminary round: Bures United 4 Brantham Athletic Res 2, Cressing United 3 Rowhedge 1, Earls Colne 2 Hedinghams United 0, Hatfield Peverel 4 Tiptree Heath 1, Kelvedon Social 1 Harwich and Parkeston Res 0, Oyster 2 Stanway Athletic 4, Stanway Rovers Res 0 Shrub End United 1, Sudbury Sports 4 Wormingford Wanderers 0, Tiptree Jobserve 8 Bradfield Rovers 0.

Premier division: Barnston 1 Little Oakley Res 2, Dedham Old Boys 3 Alresford Colne Rangers 6, Flitch United 3 Tiptree Engaine 2, Lawford Lads 3 West Bergholt 5, Stanway Pegasus 3 Great Bentley 3, White Notley 2 Gas Recreation 3.

First division: Alresford Colne Rangers Res 5 Little Oakley A 0, Colne Athletic 0 Bell Vue Social 1, FC Clacton Res 4 Stanway Pegasus Res 2, Gosfield United 6 Boxted Lodgers 1, West Bergholt Res 1 Mersea Island 1.

Second division: Gas Recreation Res 3 Dedham Old Boys Res 2, Great Bentley Res 2 Hatfield Peverel Res 1, Harwich Rangers 4 Cavendish 4, Tavern 3 Tollesbury 1, Tiptree Engaine Res 1 Elmden Rovers 0, Tiptree Jobserve Res 5 Brantham Athletic A 3.

Third division: Boxted Lodgers Res 4 Barnston Res 6, Elmden Rovers Res 0 Flitch United Res 10, Little Clacton 3 Hedinghams United Res 3, St Osyth 8 Lawford Lads Res 1, Tiptree Heath Res 2 Cavendish Res 1.