LEAGUE leaders Halstead Town ran out 3-1 winners at Wivenhoe Town in Thurlow Nunn League first division south, writes KEN GILLIARD.

The Humbugs were victorious in the derby following a great game with both sides showing real endeavour in heavy conditions.

Ultimately, the visitors worked hard and showed real resilience once going down to ten men, scoring twice shortly after the dismissal.

Wivenhoe will feel the result was a little unjust and on another day, they would have got more from the game and but for an inspired display by goalkeeper Jack Cherry, that may have been the case.

Jake Brown's effort was well saved by Wivenhoe keeper Felgate while Alfie Cleal almost scored directly from a corner, not long after.

Halstead didn’t have to wait too much longer to open the scoring though as Cleal side-footed home, after Adam Hampson's cross had flashed across the six-yard box.

That goal ignited the game, and the Dragons came on strong for a period but the next chance still went the way of the Humbugs, with Cleal heading over Pavett's cross.

Halstead keeper Jack Cherry made two smart stops in quick succession and although the visitors went in at the break, Wivenhoe would have been disappointed to have been behind at half-time.

Halstead were the first to threaten in the second half as Brown went close with Palmer being closed down quickly from the rebound.

But the Dragons pressed, with Maybank’s shooting over and then Gary Burdett putting in a great saving challenge, conceding a corner in the process.

However, from the resultant set-piece former Humbug Tom Holdstock planted his header beyond Cherry for the equaliser.

Cherry could only watch as a header thudded against his bar and fell to safety, shortly after making another decisive save.

Halstead were struggling to keep the ball and also clear their lines and with the game moving into the final 15 minutes, Cherry pulled off the save of the match to keep Halstead level.

Halstead’s task got a little harder as Holdstock went down under Burdett's challenge and the Humbugs defender got a red card for his trouble, leaving the visitors to see out the final ten minutes or so with ten men.

But Halstead stuck to their task and hit Wivenhoe on the break.

Palmer was felled in the opposition box and picked himself up to plant the resultant penalty past Felgate to give the visitors the lead, against the run of play.

And a few minutes later, Halstead extended their advantage.

A long ball was flicked into the box by Palmer and knocked down by Hampson.

The ball fell into path of Palmer, who superbly volleyed home and settled the game in favour of the visitors.

Halstead: Jack Cherry, Ryan Carter, Nick Miller, Matt Travell (sub James Walker), Gary Burdett, Jack Schelvis, Alfie Cleal, Jake Brown, Jordan Palmer, Jordan Pavett (sub Jamie Baker), Adam Hampson. Subs: Curtis Abel, Alfie Lewis.