HALSTEAD Town ran out 1-0 winners over May & Baker in their latest Thurlow Nunn League first division south match, writes KEN GILLIARD.

The Humbugs got back to winning ways to reignite their play-off push at the Milbank Stadium, after back-to-back defeats.

The game was a slow burner as the two sides cancelled each other out in the early stages, which was no surprise given their proximity to each other in the league.

It wasn’t until the 12th minute that either goal was threatened with May and Baker goalkeeper Riddell turning a Blackwell free-kick away for a corner.

The hosts slowly started to take a grip on the game and Hampson was involved twice in quick succession.

He set up Cleal whose effort cleared the bar and then he saw his own chipped effort saved by Riddell.

May and Baker were restricted to the odd break but five minutes before the break the hosts needed Cherry to save bravely at the feet of Baker’s centre-forward when a goal looked on the cards, as the first half finished goal-less.

The visitors were out of the blocks quickest and for the first ten minutes were the dominant force in the game but didn’t threaten the home goal.

The momentum swung when Riddell pulled off a fantastic save from Halstead front man Palmer, whose header looked destined for the back of the net.

This set the tone for the remainder of the match as Halstead took charge and again Palmer saw the visiting keeper claw away a header.

Despite having the advantage in possession and territory it seemed that Halstead, and the game, were destined to end goalless as chances were few and far between.

Blackwell pulled his effort wide as the game moved towards the final ten minutes although five minutes later, he supplied the cross for what was to be the winner.

His cross from the right was helped across the goal mouth by Palmer, with Hampson on the far post happy to tap home.

The final five minutes played out quietly and meant that the home side gained a valuable three points against a potential play off rival.

Halstead: Cherry, Miller, Strong, Travell, Burdett, Schelvis, Brown, Blackwell, Palmer, Cleal (sub Pavett), Hampson. Sub: O’Sullivan