HALSTEAD Town lost 3-1 at Tilbury, in their latest Essex Senior League match, writes KEN GILLIARD.

The Humbugs made their first journey to Tilbury’s Chadfields home on a scorching hot day, for their first-ever league encounter with the Dockers.

The previous encounters, some 20 years ago, were at home and in cup competitions but their return journey home would have been a tough one, as for the second successive week they were on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline.

Halstead made three changes with three pivotal players not on duty, making a tough task more difficult.

Whilst the Humbugs started brightly, with Joel Older getting down the left wing in the opening minutes, it was the Dockers who controlled most of the play up until the 23rd minute, when a well-earned water break was taken.

Quickly after the resumption, Halstead had a dangerous free-kick and Kane Gilbert’s ball into the box prompted a massive penalty appeal.

But to the dismay of the visitors, the referee waved away all their appeals.

This was one of few Halstead chances created and on the half hour, the Dockers' dominance got its reward.

Great link-up play between Maculey Jones and Harvey Browne played in Roman Campbell on the left.

He skipped past his man and drilled a low ball in which was deflected into his own net by a defender, under serious pressure from Harry Hope.

The remainder of the half saw the hosts have the majority of the ball and other than a half-hearted penalty shout for the visitors, the threat was mostly at the other end.

It looked as if the hosts would go in just the one in front, especially when Halstead keeper Jordan Crissell pulled off a stunning save to deny Campbell on 45 minutes.

However, the resulting corner ended with Campbell getting his goal with a near-post header.

Ade Funbi and Gilbert tried their utmost to lift Halstead after the break but the pattern of the first half soon returned, with the hosts having the first real threat on goal.

Hope collected the ball just inside the area and only a superb save down at the near post by Crissell stopped him from scoring.

However, it was 3-0 on 55 minutes, with Alfie Fry collected the ball 30 yards out and let fly with a screamer which left Crissell with no chance.

Halstead did have a period of control, with Matt Coppen almost getting on the end of an Older corner and another penalty appeal rejected as a Gilbert free-kick rebounded off the wall.

But Tilbury almost added a fourth when Oli Spooner got behind the Humbugs defence and rounded the keeper but substitute Julian Simon-Parsons' fantastic tackle saved the day.

Halstead finally got a consolation goal when some great interplay saw Gilbert breach the home defence and plant the ball in the back of the net but it was Tilbury's day.