HALSTEAD Town produced a convincing 1-0 win over Buckhurst Hill in the Essex Senior League to make it six games unbeaten, writes KEN GILLIARD.

The Humbugs have now registered five successive clean sheets, after winning their penultimate game of the season thanks to Kane Gilbert's cheeky goal, two minutes before the break.

Halstead made three changes, with Nick Miller, Jake Brown and Tom White all starting.

White was involved in the first threat on goal after just three minutes.

He combined with Joel Older and the latter’s cross was headed goalwards by Gilbert, but it came off the visitors' bar.

The opening 15 minutes saw Halstead largely dominant but goalkeeper Jack Cherry pulled off a superb save from Sonny Shilling’s header to ensure the hosts stayed on level terms.

White, Gilbert and Older all had efforts at the other end, with the latter volleying wide following Ben Morris's great run.

The big talking point came on 43 minutes as Gilbert snuck up on the keeper Adie Connolly, seemingly heading it out of his hands and slotting into the empty net.

The referee took some time but eventually confirmed the goal, with the assumption he didn’t believe the keeper had the ball under his control.

Halstead went in at the break ahead and almost doubled their advantage in the opening minute of the second period.

Jordan Palmer closed Connolly, who took too long to clear, and the ball rebounded off the forward but went over the bar.

The pattern of the game was similar to the first period and both Brown and Palmer had headed efforts on the Stags goal, the first going wide and the second finding the net, only to be ruled out by the assistant’s offside flag.

There was then a personal duel between Older and Connelly as within minutes the keeper pulled off two great saves from the home forward.

This battle intensified on 71 minutes when Halstead were awarded a penalty after substitute Luis Ferrara was upended by a Buckhurst Hill defender.

Older struck his penalty low to the keeper's right but Connolly got down well and with a strong hand, turned it onto the woodwork, before a Stags defender cleared for a corner.

Matt Travell's header went just wide late on for Halstead, who finished comfortable winners to leapfrog their opponents in the table, ahead of their final game with Romford.