WITHAM Town's involvement in the Isuzu FA Trophy ended at the second qualifying round after they lost 3-2 at home to Redbridge, writes JIM PURTILL.

Redbridge substitute Soumen Nandi's spectacular 90th-minute shot settled a contest that had plenty of twists and turns and could have gone either way.

Eight minutes earlier with the score at 2-2, Witham had a great chance to secure a victory but Jeff Cobblah’s penalty was saved by keeper Connor Wheatley.

Witham exerted early pressure with Cobblah shooting wide after ten minutes but Ronnie Winn opened the scoring for Redbridge three minutes later.

A Liam Whipps corner was headed just over in the 23rd minute and 13 minutes later, Winn had an excellent chance to put the visitors further ahead but fired wide from a dangerous position on the left.

A spell of Witham pressure two minutes later culminated in an equaliser for Witham as Ronnie Bates hit a fierce shot into the net.

It had been a flat first half in which neither side managed to find enough momentum to build convincing attacks. The pendulum swung back in Redbridge’s favour five minutes after the break when defender Henry Day scored for the visitors with a powerful header from a corner.

It was a well-taken goal but a disappointing one for Witham to concede.

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The game stretched as Witham went in search of an equaliser and both sides played a more direct game that led to a lack of quality possession.

Arnold Mengi was introduced after 54 minutes and added to Witham’s attacking threat with his intelligent use of the ball.

Redbridge looked certain to score in the 57th minute when Witham goalkeeper Amarildo Cekrezi produced an extraordinary save from a close-range shot and right-back Ollie Ball cleared the rebound from the goal line.

It was Witham who struck next when left-back Anton Matthews scored after 72 minutes to restore parity.

The introduction of Soumen Nandi made Redbridge look more threatening as his presence on the left wing breathed new life into the visitors’ attack.

Level scores at 90 minutes would have meant that penalties were needed to determine the result.

That looked the most likely outcome but Witham were given a great chance to win the tie when a foul by Day gave the hosts a 82nd-minute penalty.

Wheatley’s save set the scene for a late super strike from Nandi, whose fierce drive found the top corner of the net beyond Cekrezi’s despairing dive, as Witham bowed.