BUILDBASE FA VASE
Halstead Town 2
Tower Hamlets 2
(Tower Hamlets win 6-5 on penalties AET)
Halstead Town put in a rousing performance against a higher-league side in the FA Vase on Saturday but eventually suffered heartbreak in the penalty shootout.
Both sides had to agree to penalties beforehand, with FA Vase ties usually proceeding to a replay if the scores are still level following extra-time.
There were a number of changes for Halstead with Jake Brown returning after a long lay-off, while a debut was handed to goalkeeper Laurence Whymark.
It was an even opening to the game before Halstead took the lead in the 10th minute when James Regan saw his cross parried out but smashed in the rebound himself via the far post.
It looked as if Halstead would reach the half-way point with their goal-lead intact.
But there were two minutes of the half remaining when a long ball over the top found Luke With who took it down well on his chest and fired beyond Whymark.
A slow burner of a second half played out before extra-time saw an injection of life to the tie.
Halstead went close to breaking the deadlock before With fired in following a corner for his second goal.
It looked as if that was going to be that, however, a corner in the very last minute of the game fell to Jordan Pavett who smashed the ball into the net and sent the home supporters into raptures and the game to penalties.
In the penalty shootout fortunes went one way and then other but finally the visitors came out on top by 6-5 and proceeded to the second round of the Vase.
It was, however, an enjoyable afternoon for all and the Humbugs will be pleased with a rousing performance.
Halstead: Whymark, Hutchings, Regan (Morris), Brennan, Warren, Schelvis, Hampson, Brown ( Salter), Pavett, Murray, Kemp (Andrade). Unused sub: Kane Gilbert.
n Mark McLean’s 10th placed Halstead side host Diss Town in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division on Saturday (3pm) bidding to register their first league win in five attempts.
n Third-from-bottom AFC Sudbury Reserves host bottom side Needham Market Reserves on Saturday (3pm) also looking for their first win in five. Danny Laws’ side drew 1-1 at home to Downham Town on Saturday.