HALSTEAD Town bowed out of the Essex Senior Cup after losing 2-1 at home to May and Baker, writes KEN GILLIARD.

Halstead were out of the blocks the quickest and they found themselves leading after just nine minutes.

Jordan Blackwell adding to his recent run of assists as he found Mark Dallinger in the box, and he smashed the ball passed the visiting keeper.

The sides were evenly matched for the remainder of the half, although May and Baker had significant amounts of possession without troubling the home goal.

The exception to this was just after the half hour mark when keeper Cherry made a great save which then fell to a Baker’s forward.

Somehow Cherry managed to get up again and pull of potentially the save of the season.

Dallinger also had another sight of goal, but he pulled his shot wide and the teams went in with the hosts in front by virtue of a bright opening ten minutes.

However, the visitors will have been buoyed by the way they got back into the game, knowing they would have been on level terms but for exceptional goal keeping.

The second half was the opposite of the first as the visitors got off to a flyer and were back on level terms immediately.

A clever short free kick between Edwards and Breen saw the former play a defence-splitting pass to Aminu, who finished well.

It got worse for the Humbugs just four minutes later when Breen played a smart ball to Aminu who drifted passed two home defenders and set up Odili and who managed to squeeze the ball into the net.

The remainder of the game saw the hosts putting significant pressure onto the Baker’s defence, but chances came and went.

Blackwell almost added to his goal tally but saw his effort go the wrong side of the upright and Travell then bought out the best in the visiting keeper.

The final ten minutes saw Halstead press and Palmer had the miss of the night from three yards out and then Harris hit the woodwork.

It was all topped off in the final minute with a scramble in the visitors box which ended in a “crowd goal”.

But unfortunately for them the referee and his officials didn’t agree and the game ended with Baker’s winning by the odd goal in three.

The hosts will feel they could have got more from the game but poor finishing and resolute defending from the visitors saw Bakers progress to the next round.