HALSTEAD Town fell to a 4-2 defeat at Great Wakering Rovers who leapfrogged them in the Essex Senior League table, writes KEN GILLIARD.

It was the hosts who made the better start to the game and they went ahead within the opening two minutes through Harry Talbot.

The two sides cancelled each other out but there was a potentially defining period of play shortly after the half hour mark was passed.

Sonny Dutton got himself sin binned, presumably for dissent, and the hosts took full advantage of playing against ten men, scoring twice with four minutes of this happening.

Harrison Topliss doubled Rovers' lead and with the Humbugs still reeling, Callum Boylan added a third and left the visitors with a mountain to climb.

Halstead regained their composure and got one back two minutes later when Joel Older’s cross found an unmarked Kane Gilbert and he headed home for his 19th of the season, to give the visitors some hope.

The final act of the first half saw the same pair combine again and Gilbert coolly slotted the ball home to put the game back in the balance, ending a thrilling final 15 minutes to the half.

The second half got underway with Halstead trailing by a single goal, as had been the case in the two previous wins, so they would once again be hoping that they could turn it into a victory.

They lost the influential Older due to injury and when a Rovers player was sin binned in the final ten minutes, it meant they would play out the final minutes with ten men.

But Halstead couldn’t take advantage and as they pushed for an equaliser they conceded another goal, a second of the afternoon for Boylan to seal a hard-fought victory for the hosts.