THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Cornard United 1
Halstead Town 3
The return journey was a much happier one for the Humbugs than in previous weeks as they took all three points with a goal in each half from Shaun Avis, his first for the club, and an own goal seeing them across the line.
There were a number of changes, the most noteworthy being the inclusion of Phil Hoskins for his first start along with Charlie Baker.
It was Halstead who showed first with Avis providing the cross and Jules Simon-Parson heading wide.
Sam Cripps and Avis were leading the line well and starting to show they could be a formidable partnership and a mazy run from the former gave Avis a sight of goal, but his effort was well saved.
The visitors were in command with the hosts threatening rarely, although Halstead were not creating any gilt edge chances.
While Avis went close on a couple of occasions, it was again the hosts who had the better chance, but their striker fired straight at Joe Simmonds in the Halstead goal.
The half was drawing to a close and looking as if it would end goalless when Halstead again got a free-kick, some 20 yards out.
Avis stepped up and fired home beyond the reach of the goalkeeper to open his account for Halstead, and give his side a 1-0 lead.
Halstead came out for the second half intent on killing off the game. It was only a matter of time before they extended their lead and when they did it was no surprise that Avis was the man who got the goal.
Baker once again made inroads on the left flank and his cross was headed back by Simon-Parson and Avis was on hand to apply the finishing touch.
Avis had a few more efforts on goal but he was unable to round off a great performance with a hat-trick.
Halstead added to their tally when some more fine wing play, this time by substitute Cook, saw Baker turn the ball back into the area and an unfortunate defender, under pressure from Simon-Parson, turned it past his own keeper.
The hosts never gave up and managed to reduce the deficit when, from a free-kick, Halstead failed to clear their lines and the ball was hammered the ball home.
It was to be a consolation goal only, as Halstead went looking for more goals and threatened through Cook and Baker on the flanks, with Avis always a willing target.
Halstead: Simmonds, Hutchings, Hurkett (Pleace), Wilderspin, Hoskins, McIlwaine, Baker, Murray, Cripps (Cook), Avis, Simon-Parson (Brown). Subs (not used) Spriggs and Gunn