HALSTEAD Town manager Mark Mclean was in a jubilant mood on Saturday following his team’s 8-1 victory over promotion hopefuls Benfleet, writes GRAHAM DOVER.

There was also a sense of relief that the team had finally achieved the reward he thought they had deserved from some of their earlier performances this season.

In these matches they had dominated for much of the play and then let slip a winning position to drop unnecessary points.

But things were different in this game.

An early penalty gave the Humbugs an ideal start and this gave them the momentum to achieve their best result of the season.

Dominant in the Halstead midfield was new signing, Matt Lock who brings a wealth of experience to the club and clearly demonstrated what an asset he will be to the club for the rest of the season.

Another player making his home debut was Matt Travell who slotted in at left-back and brought some balance to that side of the pitch that hadn’t always been there this season.

But it wasn’t just the new signings who played well. There were good performances across the field including the returning Garry Burdett in the centre of defence.

McLean expects his team to kick on from this result and knows that good results from their games in hand can help his team rise up the table.

The next game for Halstead is a visit to Harwich and Parkeston, on Saturday.

The corresponding home match earlier this season was an example of the Humbugs dropping unnecessary points when they let slip a two-goal lead and finally had to settle for a 2-2 draw.

The following Saturday, Boxing Day, Halstead are at home to Coggeshall United in a local derby and the club wants to remind supporters that this match kicks off at 12 noon.