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Saturday 13th August ​The first home game of the season and to say it was a warm one at The Milbank Stadium is an understatement. Surprisingly there were still patches of green on the pitch, so credit must go to the ground staff for keeping it playable. For such a hot day there was a decent turn out and the crowd spread themselves around the around the perimeter enjoying the sunshine. The clubhouse and snack bar were doing brisk business and the club shop sold out of baseball caps. To set the scene, I took a few pictures before the match of the crowd and the teams lining up to shake hands etc and would have to say that by kick off I was feeling the heat already. After last weeks disaster where I smashed my main camera at Leverstock, the back up was on duty again today and under the circumstances I'm pleased with the results. Hopefully, I'll have a replacement next week. In what was extreme conditions the match got off to a lively start and Newham had a couple of early chances. After last weeks disappointment of going out of the FA Cup with little more than a whimper Halstead looked much more like it and gave a lively Newham side a tough time. Despite the heat, it was a competitive match, played at a good tempo and not surprisingly, midway through the first half the referee blew for a well earned drinks break. The teams went in level at half time and I was grateful for a cold drink and some shade. Despite the heat, the second half was played at much the same tempo and spirit with both sides having their chances, but half way through the second half after some sustained pressure Halstead were awarded a penalty which was comfortably put away and they took a just about a deserved lead. Newham stepped up the pace and went in search of an equaliser, they went close on 2-3 occasions and had a good effort cleared off the line, but Halstead saw out the match (I think its called game management these days) and came out victorious. Newham went back to east London empty handed and must have felt they deserved at least a point, but after a couple of away defeats Halstead got their first win of the season in what was a competitive and hard fought game. ​Essex Senior League - Premier Division Milbank Stadium (Rosemary Lane) Halstead Halstead Town 1-0 Athletic Newham Admission - £7 (£3 concessions) Programme - £1 Cheeseburger & Tea - £4.00 Att 143

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