HALSTEAD Town moved up to second spot in Thurlow Nunn first division south following a 4-1 win over Harwich and Parkeston, writes KEN GILLIARD.

The end-to-end play provided great entertainment but the first goal came in unusual circumstances.

Jordan Palmer's speculative ball through the middle was completely missed by Halstead keeper Cook, presenting Jordan Blackwell with the easiest of chances to convert into the empty net.

The Humbugs almost doubled their lead when Blackwell jinked into the box and fired in a shot which a covering defender cleared off the line.

Cook made a fine save to deny Alfie Cleal while seconds later, a Joe Thomas free-kick was headed on by a defender and Cook turned over from just under his bar.

However, Harwich netted a deserved equaliser when Selwyn got the wrong side of the home defence and though his strong effort was parried by Jack Cherry, it fell to Eades to smash home the rebound.

But parity didn’t last long; Adam Hampson latched onto Cherry's long kick and rounded Cook before netting, to put the hosts back in front within minutes.

Cook again denied Cleal with a point-blank save but at the other end, Harwich almost equalised as Eades burst through but Cherry was out quickly to block as Halstead went in at the break ahead.

The hosts extended their lead ten minutes after the interval.

A Thomas corner was headed home by Callum Tracey for his second Humbugs goal, to extend the home side's advantage.

Tracey then made an important interception at the other end, as his outstretched leg was just enough to stop Selwyn from being one on one.

Harwich were still presenting problems and a corner almost ended up in the back of the home net but Halstead managed to muscle it away.

The visitors then had what looked like a good penalty shout rejected and when the whistle went the home crowd feared the worst, only for the referee to penalise the visitors for simulation.

The end to end play continued with Harwich firing wide when well-placed and then a Halstead attack being smothered in the area, while Palmer‘s flick header was wide.

But Halstead scored a fourth with 15 minutes remaining when Brown lobbed the on-rushing keeper, after Palmer had flicked on Nick Miller's pass.

The Humbugs finished with a bit of a flourish.

Dallinger combined with Hampson but saw his effort deflected wide and Palmer’s header from the resulting corner flew just wide.

Hampson then wriggled his way through the defensive line but Palmer, at full stretch, couldn’t turn the ball home.

Nevertheless, the Humbugs won a great spectacle and while they deserved the points, it was never as comfortable as the scoreline suggested.

Halstead: Cherry. Carter, Strong (sub Whitehead), Miller, Tracey, Thomas, Cleal (sub Dallinger), Brown, Palmer, Blackwell, Hampson. Sub: Simon-Parson, O’Sullivan, Baker.