AUSTRALIAN keeper Jack West-Astuti signed for Barking on the eve of the FA Cup Preliminary Round tie but showed no signs of jet lag as his string of remarkable saves ensured that HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS bowed out with a 2-0 away defeat, writes JON LONGMAN.

The Melbourne-born Aussie, who celebrated his 22nd birthday last Thursday,, had only just arrived back in the UK after playing for Chelmsford City in a handful of games before the lockdown.

He made a string of brilliant saves as the Swifts ran the show for the first 29 minutes then David Fallah put Barking ahead with a miscued effort and added a second after the break.

Heybridge boss Stuart Nethercott shrugged his shoulders, saying that he accepted the inevitable result: “We all know what we need so I hope there are few frustrated centre forwards out there who have been spent their Saturday afternoon sitting on the bench and are keen to sign up for some action.

“I was delighted that we created so many opportunities but disappointed that we failed to turn any of them into goals.

“We were excellent in the first half and I would have been worried about the result if we hadn’t created any chances.”

But it was a fairytale debut for the former Brisbane Strikers keeper who scooped the ball off the line to deny what seemed to be a certain goal for Courtney Homans amongst so many fine saves in a man of the match performance.

Substitute Joel Older had a couple of opportunities late in the game for the Swifts and if he had more experience with finishing at this level then he would have scored but Nethercott added: “It is a learning curve for all our Under-23s.”

FC CLACTON are the penalty shoot-out kings, winning 10-9 on spot kicks after their 1-1 draw with Hadley went straight to penalties in front of 159 fans at the Austin Arena.

Kieran Wales struck the winning penalty after Hadley’s Luke Afonso had cancelled out Charlie Durling’s opener for the Seasiders.

MALDON & TIPTREE had a record run to the second round proper, claiming the scalp of Leyton Orient along the way, and manager Wayne Brown hopes the Jammers can repeat the feat after winning 1-0 at Hertford Town.

The winner was created by Martin Stokes, one of the handful of players who have not cashed in on the FA Cup run and moved to pastures new.

Stokes smacked a long downfield clearance into the path of Samuel Coombes who beat keeper Luke Hewitt with a low shot to delight Jammers fans in the crowd of 230.

COGGESHALL TOWN had Nnamdi Nwachuku to thank for helping the club progress to today’s First Round Qualifying draw at Wembley with a 39th minute strike in a 2-0 victory over ten-man Tilbury who had David Knight dismissed in the 24th minute.

But it is the second goal that will live long in the memories of Seedgrowers fans in the crowd of 171 at West Street as Jack Simmons met Mattie Price’s cross with a blistering strike.

Grays Athletic beat WITHAM TOWN 1-0 on the 3G pitch at Aveley.