The third time did not prove the charm as Saffron Walden Town bowed out of the FA Vase on penalties.

Their game with Tilbury had twice been postponed, as had the Essex Senior League game between the two in midweek, but they were able to get this attempt started at Catons Lane.

Dunmow Broadcast: James Bransgrove catches a cross for Saffron Walden Town against Tilbury. Picture: DOMINIC DAVEY PHOTOGRAPHYJames Bransgrove catches a cross for Saffron Walden Town against Tilbury. Picture: DOMINIC DAVEY PHOTOGRAPHY (Image: Dominic Davey Photography)

And after 90 minutes there was nothing to separate them, Walden goalkeeper James Bransgrove in sparkling form to keep the east London side out and the score at 0-0.

It meant penalties was needed and Walden initially edged in front.

Ryan Melaugh and Darnell Kithambo scored the opening two efforts for the Bloods but Tilbury's second effort smashed against the bar.

Alex Warman converted his penalty and with two spot-kicks each to go, Walden had a 3-2 lead.

But their fourth attempt from Dion Lewis-Kirwan also found the woodwork across the goal and when Coby Miles had the first attempt in sudden death saved by Christian North, the Dockers converted for a 5-4 win and passage to the fourth round.

Walden go to Buckhurst Hill for the final game of 2023 on Saturday before returning to action on January 6 against Stanway Rovers.

Elsewhere, despite goals from Kevin Yeboah, Kieran Southgate and Glenn O'Hanlon and a 2-0 half-time lead, Takeley lost 4-3 away to Halstead Town in the Essex Senior League.

Stansted picked up a potentially vital win in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, beating second from bottom Arlesey Town 3-1 at home with goals from John Clarke, Carl Conway and Samuel Adetiba.

Dunmow Town meanwhile got a 2-2 draw at Wormley Rovers in Eastern Counties First Division South, leaving them outside of the play-off places on goal difference.

Dunmow Broadcast: Saffron Walden Community Girls U18 Blacks. Picture: SWCGFCSaffron Walden Community Girls U18 Blacks. Picture: SWCGFC (Image: Saffron Walden Community Football Club)

The U18 Black side at Saffron Walden Community Girls earned a 3-2 win at Swavesey Spartans U17s in the league.

Walden made a fast start and dominated the early stages but they failed to convert several good chances, allowing Swavesey to take the lead when an attempted clearance was blocked and rebounded into the net.

The Blacks did equalise though shortly after through Mae, squeezing her shot into the bottom corner, and they then took the lead with a goal from Abbey, pouncing on a loose ball in the box.

They extended their lead in the second half with a deflected effort, Mae's shot catching a defender on its way to goal, and that gave them the freedom to play some eye-catching football.

It didn't produce a goal though and they needed some resolute defending to see them over the line after the home side pulled a goal back with 10 minutes remaining.

The Braintree & North Essex Sunday League Division One match between High Easter and Witham Town was postponed.