WHILE Grays Athletic and Aveley ran out winners in their respective Isthmian North fixtures, Tilbury scored a late equaliser to claim a point.

Joe Keith's Dockers secured a deserved 1-1 draw at Canvey Island, while Grays came out on top in a seven-goal thriller against Great Wakering Rovers.

A penalty allowed Aveley to overcome fellow high-flyers Maldon & Tiptree.

Canvey Island 1-1 Tilbury

Mark Bentley was unable to make a winning start as Canvey Island manager as the Gulls were made to settle for a point against Tilbury.

It looked as though Canvey were going to claim a valuable win at the Frost Hire Stadium, as Martin Tuohy opened the scoring with just five minutes to play.

But Abdus Salami’s late leveller allowed the Dockers to secure a share of the spoils.

Canvey's Jordan Cox passed up the first clear-cut opportunity of the afternoon. Sam Collins’ dangerous cross found an unmarked Cox, but the frontman directed his header wide of the target.

Frankie Merrifield then headed a Collins corner goalwards, but Tilbury were able to clear the danger off the line.

The Dockers came close to grabbing the opening goal as former East Thurrock United man Lewis Smith cut inside and saw his deflected strike brilliantly tipped onto the post by Harry Palmer.

Ex-Bowers & Pitsea goalkeeper Rhys Madden did well to beat away a blistering drive from Gulls winger Josh Hutchinson with little more than 10 minutes to go before the break.

Hutchinson then also saw an effort cleared off the line, with Tilbury skipper Lewis Jaggs making the vital clearance.

Goalscoring opportunities were few and far between at the start of the second half. But Dockers substitute Toby Aromolaran came close to making a telling impact soon after coming off the bench as he appeared to have rounded Palmer after being put through on goal, but the Canvey shot-stopper did superbly to get a touch onto the strike before the hosts cleared.

Former Tilbury winger Ryan Melaugh was frustrated as his goalbound strike from 25 yards out was blocked, but Canvey opened the scoring from the resulting corner.

The visitors failed to clear the danger and Martin Tuohy was on hand to fire home from close range with just five minutes to play.

But Canvey were unable to close the game out as Salami levelled matters as the clash ticked into stoppage time.

There was still time for the Gulls to hit the back of the net again, but the linesman’s flag frustrated the hosts.

Grays Athletic 4-3 Great Wakering Rovers

A second half fightback was not enough as Great Wakering Rovers were defeated at Grays Athletic.

Grays raced into a three-goal lead before half-time to leave Wakering with a mountain to climb.

Dennis Oli grabbed the opener with just seven minutes on the clock and the hosts’ lead was quickly doubled thanks to Joao Carlos.

A Shomari Barnwell penalty made it three six minutes before the break.

However, quickfire goals from Ollie Woodhouse and Jake Gordon gave Garry Kimble’s side hope of staging a fine comeback.

Ade Cole scored to notch Grays’ fourth of the afternoon and although Marcus Bowers grabbed his first goal in Wakering colours, it was not to be for the visitors.

Maldon & Tiptree 0-1 Aveley

Aveley kept up their pace at the top end of the Isthmian North as they claimed a narrow win over Maldon & Tiptree.

George Sykes and Billy Roast passed up good opportunities for the Jammers and they proved critical as the Millers were awarded a 20th minute penalty.

Tom Richardson was brought down and Alex Akrofi converted the resulting spot-kick.

Akrofi's fizzing shot went just wide of the target before Aveley goalkeeper David Hughes pulled off a fine fingertip save to keep a Sykes header out.

After the break, Sam Mvemba blazed over a good opportunity.

Richardson was denied late on, while Chris Bourne hooked a Roast header off the line in the dying moments to allow Aveley to seal all three points.