The Mead must do it all over again as our Buildbase FA Trophy Preliminary Round tie with BOSTIK North pacesetters ended level after ninety bruising minutes at Princes Park.
The Mead already missing several key players ended the game with Tobi Ajala and Richard Avery both helped off with differing injuries - Toby at the end if the first half with what looked from a distance to the untrained eye to be a head injury and Richard in the aftermath of AFC's second half equaliser with a suspected broken nose - as the Gaffer was left to count the walking wounded ahead of Tuesday's replay.
It was an improved display from the home side after successive defeats to Greenwich Borough and Hythe Town and one that came close to sealing progress to the next round. But Brightlingsea Regent will have to wait a few more days to see what their destination is for the final weekend of the month of October...
The Mead took the lead after only seven minutes, but it truly was the magnificent seventh as Paul Vines netted gloriously from the edge of the box for his seventh goal of the season - a corner from Jake McIntyre wasn't cleared properly and Vinesy who had pulled away at the back edge of the box gloriously curled beyond the despairing dive of keeper Mott and into the net.
AFC showed why they have had such a good start north of the river and McKenzie brought the best out of Lewis Carey with a rising drive in their best moment of the first half. Just before half time, Toby was left in a heap on the edge of the visitors box after trying to get on the end of a long diagonal ball - the Mead midfielder looked totally bewildered and didn't appear to know where he was as he was helped from the field.
The Mead almost doubled their lead just after the hour when Tashi-Jay Kwayie and Laurent Mendy combined for Tash to curl a shot from the edge of the box fractionally wide of the post.
The visitors the levelled with 15 minutes left with a goal from substitute Hall that left the Mead complaining bitterly and Richard nursing a suspected broken nose. As Chouman centred from the right, Hall guided his header beyond Lewis and into the net leaving the Mead's central defender in a heap on the floor with blood pouring from his nose. Despite Richard's protests and those of skipper Leon Smith, the referee was totally unmoved and the goal stood.
The visitors could have edged it late on but Lewis and the remaining defenders held on to force a replay. Now its down to the medical team to try and work some magic...
THE MEAD - Lewis Carey, Harvey Brand, Jake McIntyre, Scott Kinch, Leon Smith, Richard Avery (Joe Denny 78), Laurent Mendy, Bode Anidugbe, Paul Vines, Tashi-Jay Kwayie,Toby Ajala (Alex Teniola 20)
Updated 22:12 - 9 Oct 2017 by MIKE GREEN
Subs: Tom O’Connor, Ellis Green, Max Ovenden