SECOND QUALIFYING ROUND
Halstead Town 0
Team Bury 3
After wasteful finishing saw them crash out of the FA Vase, Halstead boss Mark Benterman could have two new players for the trip to Downham.
He was due to speak to the pair today after seven-day approaches were put in ahead of profligacy against 10-man Team Bury on Saturday, ultimately costing them a place in the FA Vase first round.
After Halstead dominated the chances in a goalless first half, captain Phill Weavers’ straight red card in the 51st minute proved the catalyst for two goals for the visitors in four minutes, from David Lampshire and Liam Wales, before Joji Kawaguchi added a stunning third.
But the defeat left a disappointed Benterman’s thoughts to turn to possible new additions.
He said: “They are at bigger clubs, so I’m not too sure where they stand with their plans but we are looking to get two more in, which is what we need.”
He disagreed with Weavers’ dismissal, saying both had their studs up and believing the referee was swayed by Lee Hurkett’s screams, with the midfielder comfortably able to play on.
But he felt his side should have been four or five nil up by that time.
“We have got to be more clinical and if we did that then the second half doesn’t turn out as it did,” he said.
Returning midfielder Dan Sakal, who signed for Cornard United from Halstead in the summer, was ruled out with an ankle injury while 19-year-old former Colchester United striker Toby Blanche missed out with illness.
Team Bury started stronger, but Halstead soon took control, with Jordan Palmer and James Regan denied in a goalmouth scramble while Tom Cook and Ellis Carter missed golden chances.
The Suffolk visitors took the lead just four minutes after losing skipper Weavers early in the second half when Lampshire stole in after Kawaguchi’s long pass had seen Wales run into the area.
Wales then robbed a dithering Gareth Thomas to make it two four minutes later with a superb curling finish into the far corner.
Kawaguchi completed the scoring after 68 minutes with a powerful low drive from 25 yards after Wales’ corner fell to him in acres of space, before goalkeeper Stephen Fenner pulled off two outstanding late saves from Andy Joslin and Hurkett.
Ahead of visiting Downham Town Saturday (3pm), Benterman did reveal good news on right-back Ian Foulger, who only faces one more week on the sidelines after a broken leg was re-diagnosed to a severe sprain.
Halstead: Cherry, Joslin, Regan, Hurkett, Cunliffe (c), Thomas, Hutchings, Miller, Carter (Root 73), Palmer (Barry 81), Cook (Fuller 70).
Free Press Man of the Match: Jordan Hutchings.