Halstead too tough for Pedlars

Halstead Town 4, Swaffham Town 0The Pedlars travelled south to Rosemary Lane, Essex, home of Halstead Town. Halstead have been making great progress up the Ridgeons Division One table, sitting in the top half with several games in hand, beating league leaders Yarmouth Town the week before.

Halstead Town 4, Swaffham Town 0

The Pedlars travelled south to Rosemary Lane, Essex, home of Halstead Town.

Halstead have been making great progress up the Ridgeons Division One table, sitting in the top half with several games in hand, beating league leaders Yarmouth Town the week before.

The hosts started well, testing keeper Lee Brooks in the third minute.


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Swaffham settled and countered with fine combination play by Andrew Hunter and Paul Shafer.

Soon followed a storming run from defence by Stephen Thompson, earning a free-kick which was delivered well by Chris Sainty, but well taken by the Halstead keeper.

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A great run by the Halstead right back resulting in a shot from 25 yards hitting the junction of the right-hand post and bar, the rebound carelessly thrashed over the goal by the Halstead number nine.

The deadlock was broken in the 22nd minute, a cross from the right, missed by the Swaffham defence leaving the centre forward any easy knock-in and keeper Brooks no chance!

Swaffham kept their heads high and continued to battle, further opportunity from an Andrew Hunter corner, Chris Sainty volleying over from 20 yards.

Four minutes before half-time, the Halstead keeper was lucky to remain on the pitch, just being yellow carded for bringing down Stuart Seales just outside of the box.

A further chance fell to Kyle Plumb in the 43rd minute, but a tremendous tackle by the Halstead number two took the string out of any possible shot.

Early in the second half, Brooks again was called upon to make a fine save with his legs, but was powerless to get to the second ball in the 55th minute after parrying a shot away.

Seven minutes later a break from midfield saw confusion in the Swaffham ranks, Halstead charging through, leaving Brooks too much to do to avoid the goal.

Changes made saw Keith Polski and Lewis Hemeter come on for Chris Sainty and Paul Shafer, but the home side made it four in the 85th minute.

A further change introduced David Weaver-Pope for Andrew Hunter but the damage was done.

Frustration in the closing minutes saw both Thompson and Russell harshly booked but it opportunities had been taken and if not for Lee Brooks the scoreline could have been double.

Swaffham secretary Ray Ewart said: “Halstead have, by far, been the most organised and football playing team that the Pedlars have met this season. It will be a surprise if they are not promotion contenders towards the end of the season.”

It was disappointment for Swaffham Reserves, going down 3-1 away to Hoveton Wherrymen.

On Saturday, Swaffham first team host Gorleston, 3pm kick off while the reserves are away to UEA (2.30pm) and the A-team travel to Yaxham (2pm).

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