HALSTEAD Town lost 2-0 at Stanway Rovers to bow out of the Peter Butcher Trophy, writes KEN GILLIARD.

Rovers took control of the game and ended victorious, despite going down to ten men just before the hour mark.

Halstead fell behind early on when great work down the left saw Max Sherlock one on one with keeper Jack Cherry and calmly pass the ball into the back of the net.

The Humbugs fell further behind before the quarter of an hour mark with Sherlock again beating Cherry, this time from just inside the box.

In between the two goals both sides had threatened, with Kane Gilbert providing the danger for the Humbugs.

But the hosts had the clearer opportunities and Cherry was needed to make a couple of saves.

It almost got worse for Halstead as Maycock's driving run ended with Cherry superbly tipping his goalbound effort over, as Rovers continued to press.

The hosts continued to dominate until half-time and had the better of the chances, with Halstead restricted to the odd break away, largely through Joel Older.

However, the interval arrived with Halstead still trailing by two goals.

The opening exchanges of the second half matched those of the first, although the first Stanway attempt on goal was comfortably collected by Cherry.

The game was getting a little more physical as some robust challenges were going in from both sides.

But it was Stanway who paid the penalty when Jordan Barnett got his second yellow of the game and was sent off.

Stanway still provided the threat and Cherry touched over an effort and then took down a Stanway forward, with the referee deeming a yellow card sufficient punishment.

The tempo slowed as the game was punctuated by fouls, with chances were few and far between.

Mardell had a free-kick palmed away by Cherry whilst at the other end, there were long-range efforts from Julian Simon-Parsons and Older.

Gilbert's effort went wide for Halstead who had a large penalty appeal rejected when substitute Harry Pinkney appeared to be brought down, after driving into the box.

Pinkney then warmed the keeper's hands with an effort from just inside the box, with Gilbert and Older then both going close to reducing the arrears.

But all in all it was too little, too late as Rovers held out for a deserved victory, leaving Halstead to concentrate on their Essex Senior League play-off push.