THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Halstead Town 2
Diss Town 2
A late penalty was squandered against Diss as Halstead Town saw their winless league run stretch to six games on Saturday.
The hosts were boosted by the return of both Lewis Cunliffe and Nick Wilderspin, who were the only two changes from the epic FA Vase penalties encounter last time out.
The hosts were on the front foot from the start and Tyler Kemp saw a shot hit the angle of post and bar.
Halstead took the lead soon after, though, when Kemp’s blocked cross fell to Cunliffe who laid it to Hampson, whose swift turn and shot nestled in the bottom corner.
Diss had offered little threat in the opening half-an-hour, but Halstead were going to be made to pay, once again, for not making the most of their ascendancy.
The game was meandering towards half-time when, out of nowhere, the Tangerines equalised. A long hopeful ball out of the Diss defence seemed harmless but up rose Virgilio Leitao and his flicked header nestled in the far right corner, via the post.
This certainly gave the visitors the impetus and a new-found confidence and within a minute they were in front.
A Stephen Vincent effort from the edge of the box took a deflection and went over Halstead ‘keeper Laurence Whymark and into the top corner.
Jordan Pavett’s superb free-kick struck the post just before the break and Jake Brown headed wide as the hosts went close to finding an equaliser.
The opening to the second half resembled that of the first with Halstead having the possession although, unlike in the first half, they could not force the opening.
Pavett and Kemp both had efforts on the visitors’ goal, but in a rare foray up the other end, a Diss header should have yielded more.
It took until 20 minutes into the second half for Halstead to regain parity. A superb ball in from Marcus Warren was met by a header of equal quality by Pavett, and it flew into the top corner of the net.
Minutes later it was Jake Hayhoe who was the saviour for Diss as he turned away a Hampson effort.
Halstead were looking for the winner and an attacking substation of Karlos Andrade on for Jordan Hutchings looked to have paid dividends as Andrade’s flick to Hampson three minutes from time saw him hauled down by Solomon Pope for a penalty.
But the usually reliable Kane Gilbert saw his kick saved by Hayhoe, while Hampson saw a late effort saved by the Diss number one.
n Mark McLean’s side host AFC Sudbury Reserves on Friday evening (7.45pm).