FC CLACTON ran out 2-0 winners in tonight’s Thurlow Nunn League premier division derby at STANWAY ROVERS.

Michael Runicles and Terry Rymer, from the spot, earned them maximum points with first-half strikes at The Hawthorns.

Stanway had been hoping to ignite their season after losing their opening two league fixtures, in addition to bowing out of the FA Cup on Saturday.

However, their evening got off to the worst start following the tenth-minute sending-off of Wayne Blackman.

The striker was shown a yellow card for a foul on Billy Wales.

Presumably, he then said something to the referee and was promptly given his marching orders.

It was a major blow for the hosts and although the in-form Taylor Bannister went agonisingly close with a far-post header that bounced down and spun over the bar, Clacton soon broke the deadlock through Runicles.

It followed a slick move by the visitors, with Louie Newland’s sublime pass reaching Jake Plane.

Plane then delivered a low centre from the right and Runicles, lurking in the centre, steered the ball high into the Stanway net.

Kieron Shelley’s Seasiders doubled their lead shortly before the break, after a foul by Stanway skipper Adam Reakes on Rymer.

The pair contested a high ball into the box and when the referee spotted an infringement and pointed to the spot, Rymer dusted himself down before sending a low effort into the Rovers net.

There were two more chances of note before the break.

Plane nearly made it 3-0 – only to see his low drive from the right turned round the near post by goalkeeper Andrew Plummer.

Bannister then went close at the other end but Clacton keeper Luke Avenell was equal to his low shot.

Avenell made another noteworthy save in a less eventful second half, diving and doing well to hold a low drive from Lewis Hewitt.

Plane then went agonisingly close to adding a third but his curling free-kick bounced back off the top of the right-hand post.

Elsewhere tonight, COGGESHALL TOWN continued their fine start to the Thurlow Nunn League season with a 2-0 success at home to Godmanchester Rovers.

Correy Davidson and Conor Hubble scored their goals.

In division one, HOLLAND FC and BRAINTREE TOWN RESERVES met at the Rush Green Bowl and it was the hosts who prevailed 3-2.

BRAINTREE TOWN let a two-goal lead slip as they were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Dartford Town, in National League South.

The Iron had led 2-0 at the break thanks to goals from Karl Oliyide and Billy Crook.

However, Thomas Murphy and Elliot Bradbrook popped up with second-half goals for the Kent side.