HALSTEAD Town got back to winning ways in the Essex Senior League with a 2-1 win over Hullbridge on Tuesday night, writes KEN GILLIARD.

The Humbugs rang the changes with four alterations to the starting line-up including Joe Maybanks and Julian Simon-Parsons, who made their first starts of the season.

The opening quarter of an hour was even with both sides sharing chances.

Halstead's Jack Schelvis called keeper Brad Davison into action but he comfortably dealt with his effort.

And at other end, Hullbridge's Solomon Ofori struck the upright and the game remained goalless.

Halstead had a great chance when a ball over the top resulted in Sonny Dutton's effort being blocked by Davison.

The pendulum swung one way and then the other and for the visitors, Jordan Fisher and Jay Leader combined to play in the dangerous Ofori, but his effort is just wide of the mark.

Hullbridge frontman Harry Brown dragged an effort wide from the edge of the box followed by Kane Gilbert, Halstead’s leading scorer, also going wide from distance.

Halstead also had another chance but the final ball just eluded everyone and a golden opportunity went begging, as the sides went in goal-less at the break.

Halstead started the second half well with a crowd shout for a penalty followed by Dutton brilliantly setting up Maybanks but his first-time effort cleared the bar.

The Bridge responded with Mike Osei long ball being kept in by Ofori and his effort ended up in the side netting.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 57th minute when a free-kick was nodded down and following pinball in the visitors box, Simon-Parsons eventually bundled home.

Minutes later Gilbert did well down the line, beat both his men and crossed but substitute Joel Older's effort from the edge of the box went over.

Leader was then thwarted by a brilliant challenge from substitute Jordan Palmer as he looked to get in an effort on the Halstead goal and the Humbugs went into the final 20 minutes with a slender lead.

Hullbridge sent men forward in search of an equaliser and they came close on 77 minutes when substitute Sam Dulieu’s volley struck the outside of a post.

Halstead made the most of this as within minutes they extended their advantage to two when Gilbert got on the end of an Older free kick and his header looped over the outstretched arms of Davison and nestled in the net.

The visitors kept pushing forward, especially through the lively Ofori, and in the fourth minute of additional time he eventually got his reward, slotting home a through ball by Ramiah Mills.

It led to a frantic final few minutes but the hosts defended deep and held on to claim a deserved three points.