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Saturday 30th September - Kick Off 3.00pm Having already visited Halstead once this season where they comfortably won 1-4 in the FA Cup, second placed Romford were back in town, this time for a league match. Halstead are a much improved team since the last encounter and if Romford thought they were going to have another easy afternoon they would be in for a shock. Romford did get off to the better start and soon had Halstead under pressure and when they took the lead after 10 minutes they could have been forgiven for thinking they would easily bag all three points, but Halstead had other ideas and had much of the play for the rest of the half. They created two or three half chances, but with Romford being strong and organised at the back with their big number 19 marshalling the defence there was nothing clear cut, so they went in trailing 0-1 at the break. Half Time Halstead Town 0 - 1 Romford Not to be deterred Halstead started the second half looking for an equaliser and had the majority of the possession and kept Romford pretty much in their own half. They did have the ball in Romford’s net, but it was ruled out for a foul on the keeper. Romford didn’t look as sharp as in their previous visit and although they didn’t look like extending their lead, they never looked like giving it up either. With Halstead still trailing they made some very positive substitutions throwing on three additional forwards at the expense of midfielders and defenders. This proved to be a good move as Romford were getting stretched at the back with relentless Halstead pressure and it paid dividends when in the 89th minute Joel Older deftly chipped the keeper to score a well deserved equaliser much to the delight of the majority of the seasons best 348 crowd. This made for an exciting last few minutes, Romford stepped up a gear and very nearly regained the lead. They had a substitute sent off for a second yellow card for a reckless challenge on Older. Halstead threw everything at Romford in search of a winner, but the ref bet the final whistle and both teams had to settle for a point. Halstead have added a few new players to the squad and it is a lot stronger than last season. They’re more resilient and don’t know when they are beat where as last season heads would drop and they’d lose games they should have drawn. Playing like this they’re definitely looking like a top half of the table team and hopefully they can have a good run in the FA Vase and draw a club from further a field. After years in the doldrums these are quite exciting times at Rosemary Lane. Essex Senior League Premier Division Milbank Stadium, Rosemary Lane, Halstead Halstead Town 1 - 1 Romford Admission - £7 (£3 concessions) Programme - £1.00 Cheeseburger - £5.00 Tea/Coffee - £1.00 Att 348

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