Non League By Public Transport: Humbugs Lose Home Record …

I was keen to get to an Eastern Counties League game last weekend and there was a cracker at the top of Division One to break my duck. Halstead Town in second were hosting Great Yarmouth Town in fourth. Until last weekend, Halstead were unbeaten so far in all competitions, their first defeat came in a 5-1 loss away at Stowmarket Town.

The week before their first defeat, they dumped out Premier Division Haverhill Rovers in The FA Vase at home. Great Yarmouth had only lost one so far in the league this season which had come in the same weekend as Halstead’s first loss in the league. I visited the fantastic Wellesley ground last season for an FA Vase tie with Boston Town, who they also knocked of The Vase this season.

The opening action of the game are probing long balls from either side which both come to nothing. Great Yarmouth take the lead when a ball into the area isn’t cleared and The Bloaters force the ball in from close range to go one up. The visitors come close to doubling their lead with a half volley but the Halstead keeper makes a good save to tip it around the post.

The Great Yarmouth goalie’s first save is from an acrobatic effort which is straight at him. The Great Yarmouth centre midfielder then finds the man free at the back post but his weak shot goes harmlessly wide. There are no further major incidents as the visitors go in one up.

Great Yarmouth come close to doubling their lead shortly after half time when a half volley from the edge of the area is headed off line the line by the Halstead defence. The Halstead keeper then makes two excellent saves from efforts following two successive corners. From the third corner in quick succession, the ball is slid home from close range to make it two nil to Great Yarmouth.

The visitors further extend their lead when the forward is found by a cut back and he bends the ball into the top corner. Halstead then get into a similar position but there is no one there to collect the pass. The game is now end to end as the home side try to get back into the game and the Great Yarmouth winger gets in behind the defence but the defender gets back in time to deflect the eventual shot wide.

In the closing stages there is a bit of an altercation which sees both sides reduced to ten men. There is no train station in Halstead. To get there, you first have to catch a train from Liverpool Street to Braintree with this section of the journey taking around an hour.

Then from the bus station, which is a five minute walk from the station you can catch the 132 bus and this part takes twenty minutes with there being two buses an hour. Halstead is an attractive market town which is worth exploring before a game. On The High Street is The White Hart1 which has a good selection of ales.

Also on The High Street is The Royal Oak2 which has BT Sports for the early kick off.

A short walk from the ground is The Locomotive3 which is popular with home supporters and does awesome looking food.

The clubhouse was welcoming and had the usual selection of drinks.

References

  1. ^ The White Hart (www.beerintheevening.com)
  2. ^ The Royal Oak (whatpub.com)
  3. ^ The Locomotive (www.thelocomotive.co.uk)

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