ADAM Hampson hit four goals as Halstead Town claimed a 5-2 victory at Cornard United, writes KEN GILLIARD.

The Humbugs made the short trip across the Suffolk border and got back to winning ways in Thurlow Nunn League first division south, following their comprehensive defeat by high-flying Buckhurst Hill the week before.

Halstead had made two changes to their side with Nick Miller and Garry Burdett returning to the starting line-up.

And also back in the Halstead fold was Joe Thomas, who was on the bench.

In blustery conditions, the opening exchanges saw plenty of endeavour and both sides managed to get in behind their opponents' defence.

But Adam Hampson couldn’t find another Humbug and in Cornard’s case, Ben Judge’s cross was comfortably dealt with.

Cornard should have gone in front on ten minutes when Callum Fuller got behind the defence.

Halstead goalkeeper lJack Cherry saved well with his right hand, although the forward will be disappointed with his effort.

Halstead slowly got into game and a superb Jordan Pavett volley was headed off the line.

But minutes later, a fine 25-yard volley from Jake Brown did find the net.

And it took less than two minutes for Halstead to double the lead when Cornard failed to clear their lines and Hampson pounced and put it under the advancing keeper.

The game was even at this stage but when the Cornard defence failed to clear Cherry's long clearance, Hampson was quick to pounce and again he slid the ball under keeper Watson to give Halstead a flattering 3-0 lead.

The game went into a lull with both sides cancelling each other out but on 40 minutes, Cleal almost added to the Halstead tally as he got behind the home backline.

However, his effort flashed across the goal.

At the other end Charlie Lindoe outstripped the visitors defence and Cherry was again needed this time saving with his legs.

Cornard pressed to pull one back before the break, but Halstead frantically cleared their lines and held a fortuitous three-goal lead at the break.

Sloots headed off target from a free-kick for Cornard after the break and both Lindoe and Sloots had further efforts on goal, neither of which troubled Cherry.

Brown's volley dropped just wide of the upright for Halstead, before they made it 4-0 after 65 minutes.

Cleal’s cross was met by Hampson, who planted a header beyond Watson for his hat-trick.

Credit also to the referee who played advantage but then came back to caution the player who had crunched Brown.

Hampson came close to scoring again when a free-kick was headed back across goal by Burdett and Hampson’s overhead went just wide.

But Hampson did get his fourth when he touched home from Pavett's cutback for 5-0.

Cornard pulled a goal back in time added on when Halstead again failed to clear their lines and Sloots tucked home.

Josh Collins headed in a second for the hosts from a free-kick before the end, but Halstead returned home with three points in the bag.

Halstead: Jack Cherry, Ryan Carter, Matt Travell Nick Miller (Louis O’Sullivan), Garry Burdett, Jack Schelvis, Jake Brown, Alfie Cleal, Jordan Palmer (Mark Dallinger), Adam Hampson, Jordan Pavett. Subs: Greg Stron, Joe Thomas, Callum Tracey.