HALSTEAD Town marched into the next round of the Buildbase FA Vase thanks to a goal just before half-time from striker Jordan Pavett, writes GRAHAM DOVER.

The reward for this victory is an away tie with Baldock Town in the next round.

The game started with an early scare for the Humbugs when a mis-communication in their defence let Hackney break with the ball down the left-hand side.

The cross was met by the opposing forward but his shot sailed over the bar.

Ten minutes later there was a chance at the other end when Pavett found himself in space just outside the 18-yard box.

But he couldn’t get enough power on his shot and the move ended with a comfortable save by the home keeper.

At this stage the game was very much end-to-end and shortly afterwards a dangerous corner was sent over by Hackney and good contact was made by their forward who hit his shot on target.

Joe Jones who in the previous game had performed heroics as stand-in keeper reprised his act with a goal-line clearance to keep the scores level.

At the other end Pavett then intercepted a Hackney pass and noticing that the keeper was off his line tried an audacious lob but his shot went wide.

On the 30-minute mark, Halstead were awarded a spot-kick after Jones was upended as he made a searing run through the home defence.

Ricky Gardner lined up the penalty and hit a good shot to the left-hand side of the goal but the home keeper guessed correctly and pulled off a good save.

As the first half came to an end Halstead were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box and this proved to be the decisive moment in the game.

Pavett curled his shot around the wall and into the near side of the goal. The keeper seemed to get a touch to the ball but couldn’t stop it crossing the line.

Ten minutes into the second half the home side were awarded a free-kick in a similar place to where Pavett had scored from.

The Hackney player then tried a similar shot but his effort went, for him, the wrong side of the post.

On the hour mark the visiting Halstead supporters had their own touch of the ball when a long-range effort from Alfie Cleal landed amongst them.

A closer effort immediately followed when Chris Harris for the visitors battled his way through the home defence and had a fierce shot that went just wide of the post.

In the last ten minutes another chance fell to Halstead when Gardner had a shot deflected by a Hackney player and the ball fell kindly to Harris. Unfortunately his shot went over the bar.

Halstead were then fighting a rear-guard action as the game-clock ticked down and in this period Hackney twice had the ball in the net but twice the linesman flagged for offside.

These decisions didn’t go down well with the home team and as their frustrations boiled over their centre forward was sin-binned for dissent.

The final whistle was greeted with relief by the visiting supporters who will now be putting the name of Arlesey Town FC in their sat-navs.

This is where Baldock play their home games and because of a fixture clash, this game will again be played on a Sunday.