Welwyn Garden City's search for some pre-season form continued with a 2-1 home defeat to Brightlingsea Regent.

The Essex visitors, relegated to the same level as WGC last season, looked distinctly beatable but the Citizens were undone by an early mistake by their teenage trialist goalkeeper and a badly missed penalty from Dernell Wynter.

The WGC side were still lacking injured players James Kaloczi (dead leg), Brad Wadkins (knee), while Yasin Boodhoo (thigh strain) had to drop out during the warm-up.

They were also missing senior goalkeeper Charlie Crowley, unavailable for this fixture.

Ryan Doherty was back, however, replacing Boodhoo in a starting line-up that also included a trialist full-back.

Brightlingsea took the lead in five minutes with a gift of a goal.

WGC’s young keeper miscuing a kicked clearance straight to a visiting forward, who shot it back past him.

WGC recovered to enjoy a large share of possession but lost their trialist full-back just past the half-hour, to be replaced by Alex Harris.

Five minutes from the break they had a great chance to equalise.

Wynter did well to get around the visiting keeper and regain control, only to be pulled back by a Regent defender.

The new signing then stepped up to take the penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way, only to place his effort yards wide of the post.

The visitors responded immediately and WGC were grateful to a goal-line clearance from Harris to prevent them going two down.

Instead, they were on level terms at the break, Ethan Kessel whipping a low free-kick into the far corner to equalise in first-half stoppage time.

Two minutes after the restart though and Brightlingsea had restored their lead, scoring from close-in, after a right-wing cross.

WGC’s closest call to a second equaliser came from a short corner from Kessel that found Zac Guerfi.

His pinpoint cross was met by a full length dive from Lucas Jordan but his powerful header went just over the bar.

WGC: Trialist, Brown (trialist 77), Doherty, Steele, trialist (Harris 33), Guerfi, Kessel, Pollock (Vasey 69), Jones, Wynter, Jordan.

Among the Welwyn squad was a new signing - Australian-born Adam Pollock.

Billed as a hard-working and industrious midfielder, he is stepping up from step six football having been with Enfield Borough in Division One South of the Eastern Counties League last season.

He has been on trial at the Pexhurst Stadium throughout pre-season.