HALSTEAD Town booked an FA Vase first-round proper home tie with Stanway Pegasus in emphatic style after winning 4-0 at Burnham Ramblers, writes KEN GILLIARD.

Joel Order came close to putting the Humbugs in front early on when his shot was well saved by Burnham keeper Frankie Tidd.

The home keeper again denied Older soon after when he produced a fingertip save to deny him.

Halstead were in the ascendancy and Jake Brown’s superb cross only needed a touch but no Humbug could get on the end of it.

Burnham posed the odd threat on the break but Halstead continued to press and Tidd produced another exceptional save to push Alfie Cleal’s shot onto a post, with the hosts eventually clearing after a scramble.

Leon Isaac failed to hit the target from a good position for Burnham but Halstead were on top and five minutes before the break, they spurned a great chance.

Gilbert and Brown combined to put Cleal through one on one with Tidd but he put his effort wide.

It looked as if the first half would finish goalless despite the visitors’ efforts but then Ade Funbi popped up to score against his former team-mates with a tap in after a free kick had missed everyone and come back to him off the post.

The second half started as the first had finished - with Halstead on the attack.

Cleal missed a chance from six yards out and minutes later, Brown's great approach work saw him switch the ball to Gilbert, but his effort was just wide of the goal.

At the other end, Swanborough forced a great save from Humbugs keeper Jack Cherry, before only some great last-ditch defending prevented Ramblers equalising, with the visiting centre-backs getting in a block with the keeper rounded.

But Gilbert fired over for Halstead when played in by Joe Vogler and Funbi It was Burnham’s turn to apply pressure and Cherry turned another effort away for a corner, from which the hosts had an effort cleared off the line.

But the pressure was relieved for Halstead a few minutes later when Gilbert hit a fantastic 25-yard effort which ended in the top corner.

It left Tidd with no chance and is an early contender for goal of the season.

The momentum had swung in favour of the visitors but Halstead still needed to clear another effort off the line as Burnham looked to reduce the arrears.

However, the tie was put beyond doubt soon after when Robbie Bennett headed beyond the keeper from substitute Joe Maybanks' corner, to give Halstead a three-goal advantage.

Burnham pushed in the final ten minutes but were denied by superb defensive work and Cherry.

And Halstead sealed their first FA Vase win since 2020 when Funbi slotted passed the keeper, after latching onto a through ball.