COLCHESTER'S Ben Allison says taking career-best bowling figures of 5-32 for Essex against Northamptonshire will stay with him forever.

Seamer Allison’s maiden five-wicket haul on day three of Essex's final LV= County Championship game of the season followed his heroics with the bat, when he registered his highest score of 69 not out.

Former Colchester and East Essex bowler Allison said: “It’s rather special.

"I’ve been at Essex since I was a youngster, eight years old and the dream obviously was always to play for them one day and now that I can say that I've managed to get my first five-for for them, that’s a pretty special feeling.

"So a very special moment for me personally.

“It wasn't so long ago we were down at Canterbury, and I managed to do the same thing [record his highest score and best bowling return].

"But to go one better on both parts is a personal milestone that’s going to stay with me forever."

Ben Sanderson and Jack White removed Essex’s top order to bowl their side back into contention at the end of the third day at Wantage Road.

Sanderson struck twice early in Essex’s second innings to account for Sir Alastair Cook and Tom Westley in consecutive maiden overs.

White also picked up a wicket in successive overs to reduce the Eagles to 52 for five and snatch back the momentum after the hosts had conceded a first innings deficit of exactly 100.

Earlier, Northamptonshire were bundled out for 163, losing their last five wickets for 16 runs.

When bad light prompted an early finish Essex were 63 for five, a lead of 163, which sets up an intriguing final day today.

Allison added: “At the start of the day, two down with Young and Procter in, you never know what's going to happen if they got a big partnership together.

"And the fact that we managed to get those last five wickets for 16 runs, shows that pressure can happen and if one falls, another couple can follow shortly after.

"It was very nice to finish it off in that way [taking the final two wickets].

"Probably also nice to get back in the changing room as soon as we could. It's quite cold out there today!”