HALSTEAD Town manager Mark McLean was left frustrated after two early mistakes led to a heavy 4-1 defeat at Buckhurst Hill, writes GRAHAM DOVER.

The Humbugs conceded two goals within the first ten minutes of the game, in the Thurlow Nunn League first division south contest.

After that, Halstead were playing catch-up and to compound matters, they conceded twice more to find themselves 4-0 down by the midway point of the first half.

These goals conceded underlined the importance to the team of centre-half Garry Burdett.

Burdett was injured during the pre-season and was sorely missed in this match.

Halstead are waiting on scan results to find out how serious his injury is and will then be able to plan for his return to first team action.

Another player on the injury list is Jordan Pavett, who was forced to leave the field shortly after scoring an excellent goal in the Humbugs' victory against Wivenhoe Town and he is not expected to return this weekend.

In the same match, Jordan Blackwell was sent off in the closing moments and he has now started the three-match ban that his red card incurred.

But one positive for Halstead is Julian Simon-Parsons' return to strengthen the midfield.

Halstead this weekend visit another team making their league debut, Tottenham-based Park View.

They have had mixed results so far, winning one, drawing one and losing one of their first three games.

McLean expects another hard game but will be anxious to ensure his team returns to winning ways to strengthen their top-four position.

For Halstead supporters not making the trip to watch the first team, there will be football at the Milbank Stadium this weekend.

The Humbugs' reserve side open their league programme with a match against Whitton United Reserves, kick-off 3pm.