HALSTEAD Town claimed a resounding 6-2 win at AFC Sudbury Reserves, in their latest Thurlow Nunn League first division south match, writes KEN GILLIARD.

The Humbugs made the short trip for the Suffolk/Essex derby knowing they needed to improve dramatically on the previous performance which saw them concede four times without inflicting any damage on their opponents, which brought their recent good league run to an end.

The pleasant warm evening and artificial pitch provided excellent conditions for the match and the game got off to a terrific start as both sides looked to be positive.

First blood went to the Humbugs when, after eight minutes, Joe Thomas lined up a free-kick on the edge of the box and dutifully despatched into the top corner of the net.

This gave the visitors some real confidence and in quick succession they tested the quality of the home keeper, who did well on both occasion and kept the deficit to one.

Firstly, he saved smartly from Calvin Poku and then from the rampaging Chris Harris, whose effort was turned away and Jamie Baker was unable to turn home the rebound from an acute angle.

The Humbugs Achilles heel then showed as they paid for not taking advantage of their chances and got hit on the break.

Although it must be said it was a great move by the hosts which was neatly finished to tie everything up in the 20th minute.

We then saw ten minutes of even play before an exceptional run by Harris saw him brush off four players before unleashing a left foot power blast to restore the Humbugs advantage.

This strike was matched five minutes later by the home side to have the game once again on parity.

That wasn’t the end of the scoring for the first half as Halstead again managed to get their noses in front as former Sudbury player Jordan Blackwell crossed and Poku headed firmly passed the home keeper.

The half -time whistle went with the crowd having seen five exceptional goals and a superb game of football and clearly hoping that the second half would be as good, as the Humbugs went in at the break 3-2 up.

It was the visitors who again showed the stronger in the opening ten minutes of the half and they extended their lead on the 53rd minute.

The goal lacked the quality of the previous five but was no less important and following a scramble in the home penalty area Callum Tracey was on hand to force the ball over the line.

Once again Halstead had their tails up and again were thwarted by the home keeper, who two minutes after the previous goal, made a great save from Harris turning it round his post for a corner.

Harris had another attempt on goal seconds later but this time his glancing header was just off target.

There was then an enforced delay in the match as one of the referee’s assistants pulled up injured but fortunately within the ranks of the Halstead travelling fans was the suitably qualified Harry Buckingham, who took over the duties.

On the resumption Harris continued to be the thorn in the side of Sudbury, firstly with just five minutes left on the clock going close himself and then providing the assist for Halstead’s fifth.

He rose the highest to meet a corner and headed to Tom Cook, who comfortably turned it home to put the game beyond the reach of the hosts.

There was still time for the visitors to add a sixth as Harris and Cook again combined but this time they set up Blackwell to score against his former side.

That was how the match finished with Halstead taking a well-deserved three points back to Essex but Sudbury more than played their part, especially in the first half, in an enthralling encounter.