Southend United progressed to the fourth round of the Essex Senior Cup with a 4-2 victory against Burnham Ramblers at Roots Hall on Tuesday night.
A brace from Peterborough United loanee Jonson Clarke-Harris together with strikes from David Martin and substitute Jason Williams was enough to see the Blues through to the next stage.
But that was only possible after Graham Coughlan’s second-string side suffered an early scare when visitors Burnham went ahead in the opening minute when the impressive Charlie Kirby’s solo run resulted in a goal after just 40 seconds.
Fortunately the Essex Senior League sides lead lasted just two minutes before Southend were level again. Clark-Harris latched onto John Spicer’s square ball to beat keeper Jack Parr in the Ramblers goal.
David Martin then put Southend in front after 17 minutes when he collected Mitchell Pinnock’s quickly taken free-kick before skipping his way past the Burnham defence and sliding the ball past Parr.
Burnham then completed a frantic opening 25 minutes when they equalised from the penalty spot. Referee Michael Smith adjudged that Brad Hunter had been pulled back in the box before Kirby beat Daniel Bentley from 12-yards to make it 2-2.
For the next 54 minutes it remained all square before Southend finally edged 3-2 ahead in spectacular fashion through Clarke-Harris.
The 18-year-old collected the ball by the right hand touchline before he unleashed an unstoppable strike from 30-yards into the top corner leaving Parr with no chance.
That just left Blues keeper Daniel Bentley to make a reaction save at the other end with his head in stoppage time and with Burnham keeper Parr up in the opposition penalty area John Spicer raced forward with the ball before setting up Jason Williams to make it 4-2.
Southend: Bentley, Auger, Baucutt, Paxman, Phillips, Tatham, Pinnock (Corr), Spicer, Benyon (Mullings), Clarke-Harris (Williams), Martin.
Subs not used: Coker, Banton.