Mark Stimson’s first match in charge of Waltham Abbey ended in defeat, as Liam Ferdinand’s late goal secured Bracknell Town a 1-0 win in the Bostik South Central League.

The former Thurrock boss took over the managerial reigns in the summer following Paul Joynes’ resignation in May, with a number of new faces joining the club since then, including Leyton Orient goalkeeper Arthur Janata, who has penned a season-long loan.

Having beat Romford 2-0 in their final pre-season friendly, Abbey entered their first league game full of confidence, but they were on the back foot early on when Bracknell’s Carl Davies saw an effort cleared off the line, while Ferdinand’s shot minutes later was smothered by Janata.

But Abbey fought back and almost took the lead when Ibrahim Kehinde beat Bracknell’s Mark Scott, only for his attempt to agonisingly be cleared off the line by David Hancock.

Abbey’s Rob Clark then forced a superb save from Scott when he audaciously tried to chip the Bracknell goalkeeper from 35-yards, but it was the home side who came closest to opening the scoring on the stroke of half-time, as Davies struck the bar with a close range header.

Stimson’s men came out fired up after the break and they thought they had taken the lead in the 50th minute when the ball was put into the back of the net, only for the assistant’s flag to be raised for offside.

But after Bracknell rallied, with James forcing two good saves from Janata, the home side would score what proved to be the winner with 13 minutes remaining, as Ferdinand fired a low effort into the bottom corner.

Abbey will be hoping for better fortunes when they take on Cheshunt at the Capershotts Stadium this weekend.

Elsewhere, in the Essex Senior League, Walthamstow are up and running under Ryan Maxwell having thrashed West Essex 5-1 in mid-week.

Christian Owusu notched a hat-trick, which was added to by an own goal and a strike from Jack Leachman to hand the Stow a comprehensive victory.

Maxwell’s side made it two wins on the bounce when they qualified for the preliminary round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 win over Walsham le Willows thanks to goals from Rheo Josephs, Junior Appiah and James Peagram.

Walthamstow flew out of the blocks and went ahead in the seventh minute, when good work from Appiah and Peagram released Josephs, who raced through before calmly slotting the ball into the back of the net.

Appiah doubled the lead just after half-time as he met Peagram’s cut-back before arrowing a fine effort into the bottom corner.

Walsham pulled one back through Ryan Clark but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation, as Peagram sealed the victory with seven minutes remaining, lashing home the rebound after Tony Da Silva’s shot was blocked.

West Essex are also through to the preliminary round of the FA Cup, after they fought back from 2-0 down to beat Burnham Ramblers 5-3 in a thrilling contest.

The Essex Senior League side appeared to be on the brink after just fifteen minutes, with goals from Charlie Grey and Karl Swanborough handing Burnham a 2-0 lead.

Symeon Taylor’s excellent strike pulled one back before the break and West Essex equalised just ten minutes after the restart when Hakim Medfai tapped home from close range.

All their hard work was undone inside two minutes though, when Burnham re-took the lead through Ashley Pibworth.

West Essex fought back when Callum Bloss made it all square from the spot and they would take the lead for the first time with twenty minutes remaining through Isaac Marfo-Jacobs’ smart back-heel.

After a high scoring affair, Bloss would wrap up the victory with fifteen minutes remaining when he converted his second spot-kick of the game, handing West Essex a trip to Heybridge Swifts in the next round.

Meanwhile, Redbridge were left shell-shocked after they were dumped out of the competition at the hands of Long Melford.

A poor first half proved to be costly for the Motormen as Long Melford led 2-0 at half-time thanks to strikes from Hassan Ally and Steve Adams.

Things went from bad to worse when David Lopez made it three just moments after the re-start, but Redbridge were given some hope when AJ Adelekan pulled one back just a minute later.

But Adelekan’s strike proved to be nothing more than a consolation as Redbridge were dumped out after a 3-1 defeat.

Ilford also didn’t enjoy such good fortunes as they were beaten by Sporting Bengal United in a seven-goal thriller despite Yemi Adelani’s hat-trick.

Adelani put Ilford in front after 25 minutes, but David Vaughan levelled almost instantly.

A double from Zakariya Hoque gave Sporting Bengal United a 3-1 lead at half-time and Bobby Redwood had seemingly secured the home side’s progression to the next round when he added a fourth ten minutes after the restart.

Adelani secured his hat-trick late on with two goals in quick succession to set up a nervy finish, but in the end, it proved to be too little too late.

Meanwhile, Epping Town rounded off their preparations for the new season with a 2-2 draw with Harlow Town reserves.