HALSTEAD Town fell to a heartbreaking 4-3 defeat at Newbury Forest, in their latest Thurlow Nunn League first division south, writes GEORGE CURLEY.

The Humbugs had to change their line-up after an injury in the warm-up but took the lead from the penalty spot through Ricky Gardner, after a foul was committed in the box.

Gardner then fired wide after being sent through by Chris Harris but Newbury levelled when Holder netted on the break, for the hosts.

Halstead then fell behind after Anderson scored from the spot but Halstead equalised soon after the home keeper cleared straight to Joel Olde, who calmly took the ball around the embarrassed custodian to score.

It was an opening half to forget for the Forest keeper, who added to his mistakes when he spilled a free-kick into the path of Gardner, who finished smartly to give the Humbugs victory before the break.

Halstead started the second half well with Harris leading the charge with a long-range shot that the keeper saved.

But Forest came forward to force substitution from boss Mark McLean, who sent on James Walker for Charlie Pleace.

However, Newbury equalised through Steven Carwell after finding himself free, for 3-3.

After a second change for Town, with Mark Dallinger coming on in place of Jake Brown, the visitors quickly piled on the pressure.

Older had a few dangerous shots aiming for the corner and Gardner's volley was saved, as he went in search of a hat-trick.

But Halstead conceded on the break via a goal from Courtney Justin, leaving the Halstead team and the attending supporters speechless.

It was the last moment of the game, as Halstead were unable to get forward in the allocated time slot.

This felt like an unfair result for Town as they were prolific going forward but were unable to carry that performance into the back line, where they were not good enough.

Newbury Forest’s success was mainly found down the wing, and via the drawing of fouls.

Halstead’s downfall however, as said before was through the defence, where they allowed too much time for the wingers to get the ball in the box.

The Humbugs' next scheduled Thurlow Nunn game will be against Harwich and Parkeston at the Millbank on October 31, where they look to regain their form.