FC CLACTON made a disappointing start to the new Thurlow Nunn League season after crashing to a 4-0 defeat at home to Thetford Town.

The Seasiders are in a period of transition after losing many of their senior players during the close season.

This was also Tom Gooder's first competitive game in charge, since being appointed as David Coyle's successor.

However, it was not the start he was hoping for after seeing his side suffer a heavy defeat at the Rush Green Bowl.

Thetford led by a single goal at the break but ended up running out comfortable winners.

Clacton skipper Adam Daniels had to take over in goal for the closing stages following an injury to regular shot-stopper Aaron Reid.

STANWAY ROVERS begin their premier division campaign at Haverhill Rovers on Tuesday while WIVENHOE TOWN and BRANTHAM ATHLETIC meet in an early-season derby on Wednesday.

None of those teams had league matches on Saturday.

Unlike Clacton, HALSTEAD TOWN were able to start with a win as they began their division one campaign with a 2-1 success at home to Needham Market Reserves.

Matt Crick scored both of their goals, the second from the penalty spot.

Halstead are back in action on Tuesday night, at home to AFC Sudbury Reserves.

Other sides continued their preparations for the new campaign by playing friendly matches.

BRAINTREE TOWN had a 2-0 win at Bishop's Stortford in their last warm-up game before next Saturday's National League curtain-raiser at North Ferriby United.

Ryman League side BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT won 2-1 at home to AFC Sudbury, thanks to an own goal and a close-range effort from Tom Richardson.

MALDON & TIPTREE drew 1-1 at home to Stansted, with the Jammers' goal being a Billy Roast penalty.

HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS drew 2-2 at Hertford Town, with first goals for the club from Glen Little and Callum Leahy.

WITHAM TOWN won 2-1 at Thurlow Nunn League new-boys Coggeshall Town.

Stanway had a massive 13-0 win against Essex and Suffolk Border League side Weeley Athletic, while Wivenhoe beat Earls Colne 5-1.

Ray Turner netted four and he was joined on the scoresheet by Tim Dennis.

Brantham won 3-1 at Little Oakley.