THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Wivenhoe Town 2
Halstead Town 1
Halstead’s promotion hopes were dealt a serious blow with a defeat away at league leaders and champions-elect Wivenhoe on Friday night.
It was very much the home side who came out of the blocks the quickest and their early pressure paid off with a goal inside the opening two minutes.
After a Halstead attack, Wivenhoe countered quickly and when the ball reached Hampson on the right he skipped round the defence and fired across goal where Turner turned the ball home.
It took Halstead some time to get a foothold in the game and their first real sight of the hosts’ goal came on 15 minutes when a Cripps header from a corner looped over.
However, their confidence grew and they eventually drew level two minutes before the break when O’Hare was fouled inside the area and Warren stepped up to convert the resultant penalty.
The second half started in a similar vein to the first with the hosts on the attack and they really should have taken the lead within the first minute, but an effort from close range was sent flying over.
The Dragons then forced a series of corners and from each one they looked as if they could score, and one in particular led to a melee in which Halstead somehow managed to scramble the ball away without it crossing the line.
The visitors, as in the first half, gradually got themselves back into the game and had a period where they forced some corners.
Yet, Wivenhoe still looked dangerous and they got the decisive goal in the 68th minute.
A free-kick was floated in by Joe Heron and as the Humbugs’ defence watched on Goldie McSorley stole in to apply the finishing touch.
The result has left Halstead six points adrift of third-placed Ely City with eight matches left to play.
n They return to action this Saturday when Dereham Town Reserves visit Rosemary Lane (3pm).
Then, on Easter Monday, the Humbugs will travel to Cornard United (3pm).