AVELEY moved to the top of the Isthmian North standings after coming out on top in a thrilling encounter with Brentwood Town.

Grays Athletic and Tilbury were also triumphant as they maintained their fine form.

However, East Thurrock United crashed out of the FA Trophy at the third qualifying round stage.

Aveley 5-3 Brentwood Town

A Tom Richardson hat-trick, along with a brace from Alex Akrofi, allowed Aveley to secure victory in an eight-goal thriller with Brentwood Town.

The Millers thought they had taken an eighth minute lead as Andy Freeman tapped home after Marcus Milner had been thwarted, but the attacking midfielder was ruled offside.

However, Aveley broke the deadlock five minutes later as Richardson was brought down by Brentwood goalkeeper Rob Budd and the referee pointed to the spot.

Akrofi fired home the resulting penalty to give the Millers a deserved early lead.

And Akrofi doubled his tally seven minutes later as the attacker tapped home Richardson’s centre.

However, Brentwood reduced the deficit soon after the half hour mark as Charlee Hughes got his name on the scoresheet.

But Aveley restored their two-goal advantage two minutes later as Richardson found the bottom corner of the net.

Zack Littlejohn pulled another goal back for the away side five minutes before the break but, within 60 seconds, Richardson had scored again to bring an entertaining first half to a close.

Ryan Mallett was on target before the hour mark to give Brentwood, who defeated high-flying Bowers & Pitsea seven days earlier, hope of securing a share of the spoils.

Richardson was denied by Budd after being put through on goal, while Sam Mvemba fired over the crossbar soon after.

But Richardson completed his hat-trick and the scoring after 66 minutes to ensure Aveley would win all three points.

AFC Sudbury 2-3 Grays Athletic

Grays Athletic were able to celebrate their 130th birthday by coming back from two goals down to claim victory over AFC Sudbury.

The hosts took a 10th minute lead Phil Kelly flicked a long pass from Darryl Coakley into the path of Thomas Monk, who rounded Grays goalkeeper Clarke Bogard before slotting home from a tight angle.

Former East Thurrock United winger Reece Harris sent an attempt wide for Sudbury, while Grays’ Joao Carlos saw his shot fly across the face of goal.

Sudbury doubled their advantage midway through the first half as Kelly squared for Ben Hunter to tap home.

But Grays were coming closer to netting and Michael Toner reduced the deficit soon after the half hour mark by stabbing home a corner.

Charlie Allen was thwarted by Sudbury goalkeeper Paul Walker as Grays went in search of a leveller before the break.

Sudbury striker Kelly raced through on goal early in the second half, but Bogard made a superb stop to frustrate him.

Coakley then struck the foot of the post and those misses were to prove costly for the home side.

Tommy Wade guided the ball home after 62 minutes and Grays were ahead six minutes later thanks to Mitchel Hahn’s sweetly struck volley.

Kieran Bishop hit the crossbar, but Grays had done enough to earn a fine victory.

Tilbury 2-0 Mildenhall Town

Tilbury remain undefeated since Marc Harrison took over as manager as the Dockers claimed a second consecutive win.

The hosts were looking to climb further away from the relegation zone with victory over Mildenhall Town.

And Lewis Smith put Tilbury on course for a valuable three points as the ex-East Thurrock United man converted a 27th minute penalty.

Although the Dockers created more chances, they had to wait until the second half to double their advantage.

George Sykes, who recently made the move to Chadfields from Maldon & Tiptree, got his name on the scoresheet four minutes after the interval.

Darren Phillips was shown two yellow cards in the space of three minutes as Tilbury were reduced to 10 men, but Mildenhall could not stage a comeback.

Salisbury 2-1 East Thurrock United

East Thurrock United are out of the FA Trophy after coming up short against Steve Claridge’s Salisbury.

Ryan Downing’s free-kick broke the deadlock after eight minutes to put Salisbury in the ascendancy.

However, Ben Marlow got Rocks back on level terms 10 minutes after the interval with a fine solo goal.

But East Thurrock were on level terms for just 14 minutes as Tom Wheelman netted what proved to be the winner.

Rocks pushed for a leveller, but they were unable to break down the hosts for a second time and Salisbury will be in the hat for the first round of the competition at East Thurrock’s expense.