HALSTEAD Town progressed in the Errington Challenge Cup with a 2-1 home win over Frenford, writes KEN GILLIARD.

The Humbugs had midfield stalwarts Alfie Cleal, Jack Schelvis and Jake Brown missing, with more than 500 club appearances between them.

It meant they had an attacking look to their starting line-up, with the midfielders predominantly replaced with attackers.

Halstead’s first chance came when only a last-gasp defensive touch stopped Ade Funbi heading home, from Joel Older's excellent cross.

The tie was end to end and Wilber Ocran dragged his effort wide for Frenford when unmarked, on the edge of the area.

Halstead then lost Kane Gilbert for ten minutes to the sin bin but almost got in front as Funbi’s header from Older’s corner flew just over.

Joe Maybanks' fizzing cross skimmed off Gilbert's head and went wide and Older couldn’t turn it back on target, as the hosts pressed for an opener.

But Frenford almost grabbed the lead on the break when Ocran's shot came back off a post, with Halstead keeper Jack Cherry well beaten.

Scott Sloots's effort from a Maybanks corner slid past the far post before the break, as the first half finished goal-less.

The second half was just three minutes old when Halstead broke the deadlock.

Older's corner was flicked on by Robbie Bennett and Funbi steamed in at the back post to firmly head home.

Older's curling effort sailed wide soon after for Halstead, before keeper Knight denied Funbi minutes later.

Frenford pushed for an equaliser and substitute Dion Johnston blazed wide when he should have done better, after getting the wrong side of the home defence.

The visitors were to rue that miss as Halstead went straight up the pitch and scored through substitute Harry Pinkney, who nipped in to score after a Frenford defender has sent a soft header his way.

Johnston pulled a goal back for the visitors with five minutes remaining when he broke through the defenders’ challenges and tucked the ball into the bottom corner.

Frenford substitute Nick Reynolds saw red after a challenge on Gilbert, leaving the visitors to play the final minutes with ten men.

Maybanks curled an effort just wide and although Frenford put pressure on the home goal, Halstead held out for victory.