Halstead Town played the role of Father Christmas at Rosemary Lane on Saturday and Saffron Walden Town took full advantage of the presents handed out to them.
The hosts — who travel to Braintree Town Reserves on Saturday (3pm) — twice took the lead inside the opening half an hour.
But, for the second successive game, they failed to hold on to the advantage and Walden were victorious in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division encounter.
Both sides went close in the early stages before Halstead opened the scoring when defender James Regan took a Jon Thorogood pass to run on and fire home on 20 minutes.
Walden hit back with some neat moves and man-of-the-match Craig Calver crossed for the unmarked Ross Laird to head home.
Nevertheless, Halstead struck again five minutes later when Jordan Hutchings took a Lee Hurkett pass to outpace his defender and restore the home lead.
However, it was just three minutes later when the unmarked Calver headed home a Matt Snelling free-kick and, in the final seconds of the half, an untidy challenge by Ash Baptiste was harshly punished and the experienced Stuart Wardley converted the spot-kick.
After the break, Walden took over with Calver giving the home defence a torrid time and inevitably — from one of his many crosses — Snelling converted the visitors’ third header of the game and completed the scoring.
Halstead: Cherry, Regan, Grindrod, Hurkett (Barry 55), Cunliffe, Baptiste, Hutchings, Blanchette, Thorogood (C Thomas 78), Murray, Cooke (Daniels 80). Sub not used: G Thomas.
n AFC Sudbury Reserves defeated Cornard United 1-0 on Friday night in front of a crowd of 121 at Blackhouse Lane and host Long Melford on Saturday (3pm).