Halstead Town 3
Stowmarket Town 2
Halstead Town produced a memorable comeback to beat Stowmarket Town 3-2, despite finishing the match with nine men on Saturday.
Stowmarket broke the deadlock on the half hour mark through Wayne Proctor, and went into the break a goal and a man up after Samuel Cripps was sent off for the Humbugs.
With half-time looming, Cripps became entangled with a Stow defender and ended on the ground underneath him.
The referee interpreted it as a foul against Cripps, and much to the vocal home crowd’s amazement, felt it serious enough to show a second yellow card.
Matt Dixon doubled Stowmarket’s lead on the hour mark and at that point it looked like Halstead’s promotion hopes for this season were quickly slipping away.
But, on 68 minutes substitute Jordan Pavett’s cross-cum-shot could only be parried by Stow’s Dan Joyce, and James Murray was on hand to smash the ball home for the Humbugs.
The hosts were back on level terms in the 80th minute when Joyce could only parry Joseph O’Hare’s effort, with Jordan Hutchings curling an effort into the corner of the net.
Halstead had victory in their sights and just four minutes later O’Hare was put through one-on-one with the keeper and crept his shot past Joyce to make it 3-2.
Pavett was sent off in added time but the hosts held on.
n Goals from Ryan Weaver, Nick Wilderspin, Hutchings and Marcus Warren helped Halstead to a 4-0 win at Cornard United on Tuesday.
The Humbugs host King’s Lynn Town Reserves on Saturday (3pm).