THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Cornard United 0
Halstead Town 2
Christmas is a time of generosity but Halstead were giving nothing away and must have seemed like a bunch of Scrooges to Cornard.
Cornard came into the game without a point, having suffered 15 straight league defeats.
Halstead had beaten Long Melford 6-0 the previous week, so manager Jim Holder emphasised to his players the need to avoid complacency.
“We told them this was a potential banana skin, and I didn’t want us to be the first ones not to beat them,” said Holder.
“When it was only 1-0 at half-time I wasn’t comfortable. But we tightened up in the second half and took control.”
It was a great contest right from the intital sparring.
The hosts tried to be inventive from their midfield and had a few tentative pots at their visitors through James Porter and Dave Charles but it didn’t take long for Halstead to ruin the Christmas spirit when Jon Root unleashed a bullet on six minutes into the top of the Cornard net.
In fact, the first half was all about Root’s play up front.
James Raby was serving him beautifully down the left, whilst Brad Dix and Jordan Hutchings were doing the same on the right.
In truth, Root could have had a hat-trick within the first 45 minutes.
The second half saw Halstead thwart Cornard completely in attack and this enabled them to pass their way forward and piece together slick attacking moves with ease. Reis Farley-Hearn picked up a silly booking for back-chat, but atoned superbly on 55 minutes with a trademark free-kick on the edge of the box.
Yet for all their shots on goal through Ash Drew, Perrie Flatts, and Root, Cornard defended well in the face of adversity, while also riding their luck at times.
For the second week on the trot, Town shut out their opponents with ease but they are going to have to keep this level of peformance going and then some as they entertain Newmarket at home on Saturday.
n Halstead’s reserves weren’t as lucky as the firsts as they went down 3-1 at home to Sudbury.
Cornard: Reid, Wood, Beckett, Grimster, Gregory, Whitewell, Stevens (Payne), Newcombe (Bailey), Charles, Porter (Melia), Hammond. Unused sub: Henderson
Halstead: Athey, Dix (Drew), Raby, Barry, Cunliffe, Smith, Appelby (Hurkett), Murray, Hearn (Flatts), Hutchings. Unused sub: Ratcliffe, Benterman.