HALSTEAD Town boss Mark McLean was bitterly disappointed to drop all three points in the midweek clash with Little Oakley at the Milbank Stadium, writes GRAHAM DOVER.

He had seen his team put on a superb display in the opening 45 minutes of the game and go in at half-time with a 2-1 lead.

This advantage could have been greater but his players missed chances during this first half that they should have taken.

During the interval McLean told his players that the game was far from won at that stage and warned them to be prepared for the opposition to come out strongly at the start of the second half.

He knew that Oakley were a team that would fight for every ball and never give up until the final whistle.

Unfortunately, his team were unable to stand up to this and almost immediately after the restart they conceded the equalising goal. This was the pivotal moment in the match.

The goal rocked the home team and McLean felt that they never really seemed to recover. As the game progressed the momentum was all with Oakley and with little resistance from the home side they took a very tight grip on the game.

McLean was annoyed with the lack of fight that his players displayed and made them aware of this after the final whistle. He expected more from them.

But the next game is not far away and on Saturday another very good side, White Ensign are the visitors to the Milbank Stadium.

McLean believes that this is a match his team can win and will expect the players to have the same conviction.

If they can put this result behind them and display the excellent form they showed in the first half, an entertaining match is in prospect and there is no reason why they can’t return to winning ways.