THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION: Halstead Town 7 Dereham Town Reserves 1
Halstead continued their positive league progress on Saturday, overcoming a sending off to record an emphatic victory.
The hosts raced into the lead when Dan Grindrod forced his way through after some excellent interplay, finding the net after his initial shot had been blocked.
The hosts got a second just before the break, Lewis Cunliffe’s towering header finding the corner to end a dominant first period for the Humbugs.
Soon after the restart, a potential game-changing moment saw Ashley Baptiste’s clumsy, mistimed tackle reduce Halstead to 10 men and the resulting free-kick saw George Brooks’ effort arrow into the bottom corner.
But after consistent pressure Halstead earned a penalty from which Cunliffe restored the two-goal advantage, following Stuart Garner’s handball.
Moments later it was 4-1 when a great run and cross saw Tom Cook head in at the near post.
The depleted Humbugs refused to take their foot off the gas and a dazzling run from James Murray ended in an own goal by Brooks.
Home substitute Jonah Gosling drove forward, fired across goal and found the back of the net.
With the game seemingly over, Gosling was brought down by Dereham’s goalkeeper, who was shown the second red card of the game.
Cunliffe took the spot-kick and scored to complete his hat-trick.