Cornard United 3 Halstead Town 3
AN injury time equaliser from Charlie Thomson gave Cornard a share of the spoils on Tuesday and ruined Halstead’s bid for a Christmas period holiday double.
Halstead, without the injured Adam Smith and Lee Hurkitt, along with the suspended Nico Farthing, started well with four corners in the first three minutes which ended with Jordan Palmer firing home a Hutchings cross. However, Cornard fought back well, despite losing the injured Dan Price, who was replaced by Marcus Spindler with only a quarter of an hour gone.
Play swung from end to end before Cornard struck twice in three minutes, both from Scott Yearling, the first from the penalty spot after Lou Cunliffe was adjudged to have handled, followed by an Adam Warren breakaway which found Yearling to crack home a beauty via the underside of the bar.
Cornard continued to press and went close when an uncharacteristic error by Cunliffe was tidied up when Chris Rayner cleared off the line from Josh Hodgson.
Two minutes before the break Halstead got back on terms when Jack Smith, back from suspension, fired home another Jordan Hutchings cross.
Early in the second half the latter netted but was ruled out for offside before Halstead went ahead again. Jon Root was brought down in the box and Reis Farley-Hearn comfortably slotted home the resultant penalty kick on 52 minutes.
There were plenty of opportunities for the visitors but both Hutchings and Ryan Crush were guilty of not taking chances with only keeper Barry Lynn to beat.
Cornard continued to cause Halstead problems defensively but they hung on, until in injury time Thomson grabbed a point for the hosts with a powerful shot with the aid of a deflection that left keeper Matt Walker well beaten.
A share of the spoils was no more than Cornard deserved as the young Halstead side must learn to retain possession better in the latter stages of the game.
Bookings: Spindler (Cornard); Sakal (Halstead) - both fouls.
Cornard: Lynn, Short, M. Yearling, Price, Wamner, Beckett, Warren, Thomson, S. Yearling, Hodgson, Barber. Subs: Pannell, Spindler, Nwaubani, Melia.
Halstead: Walker, Palmer, Newnes, J. Smith, Cunliffe, Rayner, Hutchings, Sakal, Farley-Hearn (Willis 78), Root (Crush 65), Raby. Unused sub: Keating.