Halstead Town - Holder sets sights on top four finish

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RIDGEONS LEAGUE

FIRST DIVISION

Team Bury 1 Halstead Town 2

HALSTEAD Town boss Jim Holder has targeted a top- four finish for his side after they got back to winning ways at Team Bury on Saturday.

Town host March Town United on Saturday (3pm) in their final game of the season, knowing victory will take them above Brightlingsea Regent into fourth place on goal difference.

“We couldn’t be more pleased really,” he said. “If we had finished 10th we would have been pleased, so if we can finish fourth that would be fantastic.”

Goals from Reis Farley-Hearn and John Root won the game for the away side, after Harry Barker had levelled for the Blues early in the second half.

In a close opening period, Team Bury had slightly better of a close and physical affair.

Clark went closest after half an hour when Barker laid off the ball, but his left footed curling effort went narrowly wide.

Blues goalkeeper Stephen Fenner was also forced to work. Town centre-half Jack Smith came forward and struck from 25 yards, which was held by the stopper, who also showed good hands to keep out James Raby’s long range drive.

But the away side grabbed the lead just before half-time when Lewis Cunliffe broke into the box and shot, only for his effort to be handled.

Halstead top scorer Farley-Hearn stepped up to take the kick, which was well saved by Fenner, but headed home on the rebound to give the striker his 20th goal of the season.

The second half started at a frenetic pace, with Smith venturing forward for Halstead and smashing the ball against the crossbar from distance just minutes after the restart.

But Team Bury got back into the game 10 minutes into the second half. Moody swung in a ball into the area from a free-kick which was headed against the woodwork by Callum Finch, with Barker reacting fastest to poke home the rebound.

Despite more Bury pressure, Halstead grabbed the winner with 15 minutes remaining.

Lee Hurkett’s free-kick was saved by Fenner, and Root was on hand to prod over the line through a crowd of players to give Town the lead.

Bury almost equalised on the stroke of full-time when substitute Zehnn Young poked a ball through to the dangerous Clark, but Town goalkeeper Walker was quick off his line to thwart the danger, and Bury’s chances of a late fight back.

Free Press man of the match: Reis Farley-Hearn.

Halstead Town: Walker, Keating, Newnes, Smith, Cunliffe (Crush 61), Palmer, Hutchins, Raby, Root, Farleigh-Hearn (Willis 68), Hurkett. Subs not used: Thurgood, Harris, Dix

n HADLEIGH United took their unbeaten run in the Premier Division to five matches with a 3-2 win on the road at FC Clacton on Tuesday night.

Chris McLaughlin (pen), Luke Ingram and Liam Jennings were all on target for Stuart Crawford’s side.