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Monday 28th August - Kick Off 3.00pm There was a full fixture list in the Essex Senior League for this August Bank Holiday Monday and Halstead Town welcomed FC Clacton to the Milbank Stadium on a warm but cloudy afternoon in front of a very respectable crowd of 318. Before the match club captain and goalkeeper Jack Cherry was presented with a tankard to mark his 200th appearance for the club and he was not going to be in for a quiet afternoon. Before concentrating on the match I decided I’d try and get a few photo’s of him in action and Clacton duly obliged by calling him into action several times in the opening few minutes and it wasn’t long before Clacton took the lead with a well taken shot which curled past his despairing dive. Going behind spurred Halstead on and they pressured the Clacton goal and deservedly got an equaliser with a looping Kane Gilbert header. Gilbert was then lucky to see only yellow after a clumsy challenge, similar to the one that saw Lauren James get sent off for England in the Women's World Cup. As was the Clacton captain and goalkeeper who’s reaction was somewhat reckless. Both lucky to stay on the pitch. The match could have got heated after that, but things calmed down and the home side were lucky to go in level at the break when the visitors hit the post in the dying seconds of the first half. Half Time Halstead 1 - 1 FC Clacton Halstead started the second half looking much more like it and soon had the ball in the net, but Jake Brown was deemed to be offside, but it wasn’t long before Adi Funbi put Halstead in front with his first goal for the club and 10 minutes later Joel Older made it 3-1. At this point Halstead were well on top and must have thought it was job done as they made 3 quick substitutions which seemed to upset their rhythm and Clacton got back into the game and pulled one back. This spurred Halstead back into action and substitute Harry Pinkney let a shot fly from the edge of the box which struck the woodwork and rebounded out. If that had gone in Halstead could have seen it out, but Clacton were on a mission and in the 90th minute got a deserved equaliser. Halstead then saw out a nervy 10 minutes of added time and did well to survive what seemed like a constant barrage of Clacton pressure. On reflection, a draw was a fair result in what was at times a feisty and hard fought match. From a Halstead perspective it was 2pts dropped, from being 3-1 up, they really should have seen the game out and in the end were lucky to come out of it with a point. Essex Senior League Premier Division Milbank Stadium, Rosemary Lane, Halstead Halstead Town 3 - 3 AFC Clacton Admission - £7 (£3 concessions) Programme - £1.00 Cheeseburger & Tea - £5.00 Att 318

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