THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Diss Town 1
Halstead Town 3
Mark Banterman has backed his Halstead Town to continue their push for promotion after securing a fifth straight win by overcoming Diss Town.
Having fallen behind to Jamie George’s fifth minute opener, the visitors struck back through Sam Cripps (2) and a wonder strike from substitute Jordan Pavett after the hosts had seen Jason Armes dismissed with 25 minutes remaining, which proved the turning point.
And with his side still on the tails of the pacesetters, Banterman has challenged the Humbugs to keep putting pressure on those above them in the promotion places.
“To get three points was the most important thing,” he said.
“Hopefully one of the top two will slip up and we can take advantage.
“We would be naive to think we haven’t got a chance, it might be an outside chance but it is still all to play for.
“All we can do is keep winning and make sure we’re knocking on that door.”
The home side broke the deadlock as quick thinking from Danny Self saw a free-kick played into an unmarked George who coolly finished.
The Humbugs levelled in the 20th minute as Joe O’Hare slipped Cripps into the area with the striker sliding the ball past Izod at his near left post.
Halstead finished the half the stronger of the two sides with O’Hare and Crippps spurning good opportunities.
With very little separating the two teams, the turning point occurred after 65 minutes when Armes was shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident.
Halstead seized the initiative and after a host of further spurned chances they took the lead in spectacular fashion with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Substitute Pavett received the ball 25 yards out from goal and made the most of the space afforded to him by arrowing a right-footed effort beyond the reach of Izod and into the goalkeeper’s top left corner.
And with five minutes remaining the visitors made sure of the points as Cripps dispossessed Diss captain Danny Self on the byline before carrying the ball into the area and firing a low shot past the on-rushing Izod to settle the tie.
n That momentum continued on Tuesday as Halstead eased past Team Bury in a 3-0 win courtesy of Cripps (2) and an own goal.
The sixth-straight league win left them fourth in the league with 54 points, two adrift of Ely City in the final promotion place ahead of visiting Wivenhoe Town on Saturday (3pm).