CANVEY Island booked their place in the third qualifying round thanks to an Alex Rhodes goal five minutes from time against 10-man Whitstable Town at the Brockwell Stadium.

Rhodes netted with a volley after the Kentish visitors looked set to hang on to secure a replay.

They lost captain Louis Smith to an early injury and Gareth Cornhill had an early bath following a second yellow card just after the hour.

But the Ryman One South side had their share of luck as well.

Chris Moore’s early header was deemed not to have crossed the line and then a Matt Game corner was cleared to safety after hitting the crossbar.

And Whitstable survived a penalty appeal after Gulls substitute Jay Curran looked to be brought down in the 18-yard box.

But Town’s run in the competition ended with Rhodes late winner which ensured John Batch’s troops would be in the third qualifying round on Saturday, October 9.

East Thurrock United will get a another bite of the cherry when they travel to Carshalton Athletic tomorrow night for their second qualifying round replay.

But Rocks will be kicking themselves for not polishing off the Robins at the first attempt.

John Coventry’s side created plenty of chances to secure a win but were thwarted by visiting goalkeeper Craig Ross, who produced a series of good saves.

The high-flying Ryman One North hosts made the early running at Rookery Hill but found themselves a goal down after 37 minutes when Anthony Joseph netted.

Ross denied Rocks an equaliser with several saves but the Ryman Premier visitors’ defences were finally breached 12 minutes from time when Kris Newby latched onto a Richard Wray ball forward to finally beat Ross.

But the stopper recovered to deny Neil Richmond a winner in injury time when he turned the striker’s header over the bar.

Grays Athletic will welcome Bury Town to Rookery Hill on Wednesday night after a late Alex Osborn equaliser earned them a replay.

A quiet opening period saw neither side able to break the deadlock, although Ishmael Welsh did go close for Grays.

However, the visitors went in at half-time a goal to the good after Steve Demetriou got on the end of a cross five minutes before the break to score.

Bury got on terms through Sam Reed after being set up by James Scowcroft.

And the Suffolk hosts went in from in the 56th minute when Duran Reynolds was judged to have brought down Scowcroft. Chris Henderson scored the resulting penalty.

But Osborn bagged the equaliser in the 84th minute to give Julian Dicks’ side another stab on Wednesday evening.

Thurrock put their Blue Square Bet South troubles behind them to record a 3-1 win over Stamford AFC at Ship Lane.

Fleet have yet to win in the league this season and things started badly for the hosts against opponents from Evo-Stik League Division One South.

Simon Mowbray hit the bar early on for the Daniels but he made no mistake when he got a second shot on goal after 26 minutes.

But any hopes that it would be third time lucky on the road in the FA Cup this year for the visitors from Lincolnshire were smashed as Thurrock bounced back.

Cliff Akurang levelled six minutes later after good work by Matt Bodkin.

Fleet took control in the second half but saw Stamford keeper Chris Wright deny Lee Roache before recent signing Max Lette Jallow hit a post.

But Roache nodded home a Joe Collins cross to put Thurrock in front for the first time in the 87th minute.

And any hopes that the Daniels had of forcing a replay were ended three minutes into stoppage time when Roache completed his brace by scoring from Akurang’s centre.