Halstead Town beat Little Oakley 3-1 to head into three-week break firmly in Thurlow Nunn League First Division South title race
Halstead Town went into a three-week break without a fixture in great spirits following a 3-1 success at Little Oakley on Saturday which saw them keep up the pressure in the promotion race.
The Humbugs remain second in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division South table and three points behind leaders Hashtag United but with a game in hand.
A fine first half display, where they built a two-goal lead, ultimately won the game for Mark McLean’s side, despite a determined second half effort from Oakley, which was met by some fine rearguard action from Halstead.
With an unchanged line-up from the 2-0 home win over Harwich & Parkeston, they took the lead on the quarter-of-an-hour mark. Callum Vincent jinked across the park before finding Kane Munday whose slide-rule pass set Liam Whipps off down the line and Chris Harris prodded home his cross.
Chances were at a premium and when Jake Brown did get the ball in the net it was ruled out for handball, while the hosts should have at least worked goalkeeper Jack Cherry from a header which went harmlessly wide.
Halstead doubled their advantage in the 28th minute when Jordan Pavett fed Harris and he was tripped after seemingly missing the best chance to score. Vincent stepped up and coolly dispatched the penalty.
Minutes later a flare-up after Brown’s heavy challenge on Jamie Dobkin saw both shown red cards.
Halstead weathered the Oakley storm before top scorer Pavett turned in a flick on from Harris from substitute Tom Cook’s corner in the 76th minute.
Bradley James pulled a goal back inside the last 10 minutes but Halstead returned home with their fifth successive victory.