HALSTEAD Town kept their Thurlow Nunn League first division south play-off chances alive with a 4-2 win over Burnham Ramblers, writes KEN GILLIARD.

Humbugs keeper Jack Cherry saved well from Jack Walker early on, with Joe Howard's rebound effort deflected wide and Haziz Kone shooting wide from the resultant corner, when he should have done better.

Halstead got more into the game and Calvin Poku fired wide after good work from Jordan Blackwell, while Jordan Palmer volleyed over soon after.

The hosts finally made the pressure pay on 18 minutes through Adam Hampson, who showed pace on the edge of the box before firing low past keeper Adam French.

Hampson nearly added to his tally after Blackwell and Ryan Carter combined but saw his shot saved at the near post by French.

However, he wasn’t to be denied too much longer when, on 36 minutes, he found himself in the right place at the right time.

Jordan Pavett’s deep free-kick was headed back across goal after French got nowhere near it and Hampson headed in at the back post.

And it was 3-0 on 41 minutes when Poku headed home Alfie Cleal’s excellent centre.

Blackwell's volley was pushed away for a corner but at the other end Samir Ali shot went just past a post, as Halstead went in ahead at the break.

Burnham started the second half well and Cherry made a good save with his legs to deny Ali, just after the break.

But Matt Travell's cross-cum-shot almost deceived French before landing on the roof of the net, as Halstead pushed for a fourth.

They duly got one just before the hour mark when Blackwell fired into an empty net, after Poku’s shot was blocked.

Hampson turned Blackwell’s cross into the side netting but Burnham pulled a goal back when Kone crossed for Albert Galbally to convert, at the back post.

With the game heading to the final 20 minutes, the balance had swung in favour of Burnham and when Kone was bought down in the box, the referee pointed to the spot.

Ali converted to reduce the arrears to two and set up an exciting finale.

This ignited the match; Poku went close for Halstead with a bullet header while at the other end, Kone fired wide from the edge of the box.

Burdett had the chance to make the game safe for the hosts but headed over when well placed and French denied Hampson his hat-trick when he beat the striker’s snapshot away.

That was the final action of the game, as Halstead got themselves across the finishing line with comfort.

Halstead: Jack Cherry, Ryan Carter, Garry Burdett, Alfie Cleal (Louis O’Sullivan), Jordan Blackwell (Tom Cook), Jordan Palmer, Calvin Poku (Jake Brown), Aam Hampson, Jordan Pavett. Sub (not used): Nick Miller.