HALSTEAD Town ran out 5-0 winners over West Essex in the Essex Senior League, writes KEN GILLIARD.

The contest took place on a heavy pitch, but a special well done to the Humbugs ground staff who got the pitch fit for play after a horrendously wet week.

Both sides came into the game having both experienced a poor run of form which had seen their play-off ambitions fade.

The opening ten minutes saw little by way of opportunities as the conditions probably came out on top and fluent flowing football was difficult.

However, the first half took a turn when Harry Pinkney opened the scoring for Halstead.

The hosts, who were certainly having the better of things at that point, were looking to build on that advantage and just three minutes later they did just that.

Robbie Bennett got into the box and scoring with a cheeky flick.

The remainder of the half saw the sides battling with the surface and the home side largely dominating but unable to add to the score.

West Essex did call the deputising home keeper Alfie Maragliani into action a couple of times and he pulled off some great saves, as Halstead went in at the break in control.

The early second half threat came from the hosts as Kane Gilbert went close with a free-kick and Pinkney also tested West Essex goalkeeper Michael Cordroy.

The 50th minute then needed the referee to sort out a scuffle on the far side and ended with a yellow for either side.

The visitors looked to hit Halstead on the break and Zak Oliver got away but his effort was tame and comfortably collected by Marigliana.

Just before the hour mark, the Humbugs extended their lead as Joel Older cutting from the right flank and after Cordroy parried his low, hard effort, Gilbert pounced to record his 29th of the season.

As they did in the first half, Halstead followed up with a second goal within minutes.

Older played in Pinkney, who steadied himself and slammed the ball home to give the hosts a four-goal advantage.

Halstead went one better by adding than the first half by adding a fifth goal three minutes later, as the prolific Gilbert headed home a Joe Maybanks corner.

West Essex didn’t give up and Theo Jones had a decent effort which Marigliana saved well at his near post, before David Bell's mazy run saw him have an effort from the edge of the box, but it curled wide.

Gilbert’s free-kick was nodded just wide by Pinkney but the game come to an unfortunate end when a West Essex player was seriously injured and required an ambulance.

The player is in good spirits and is doing ok in hospital - the best wishes of all Halstead Town officials and supporters go to the player and the club, for a full and speedy recovery.