A DOMINANT first-half performance helped Harwich and Parkeston win 2-0 at Whitton United in Thurlow Nunn League first division north, writes TERRY FRANCIS.

The Shrimpers made the most of the slope before half-time, establishing a two-goal lead that they did not relinquish.

Harwich attacked from the start and Jamie Beecham's seventh-minute hooked shot was cleared off the line by defender Owen Andrews.

Beecham was showing good form and went close again with a shot that just cleared the crossbar.

Harwich took the lead after 16 minutes when Danny Garrad laid the ball off to Beecham, who netted with a well-taken shot.

The Shrimpers were showing determination and from Gareth Heath's corner, Dan Keeble's header went just over the crossbar and later, Liam White's shot struck a post.

With half an hour gone, the alert Heath pounced on a defensive mistake to score the Shrimpers' second goal.

Harwich were within a whisker of scoring a third goal when Garrad broke clear of the home defence, only to see his powerful shot strike the far post.

The visitors were creating chances and could well have been four goals ahead at half-time.

Jamie Eades' shot went inches past a post, while Garrad's shot forced an excellent save from goalkeeper Finley Watts, at the expense of a corner.

The second half saw Whitton with the slope advantage and although play was now evenly contested, the game became a scrappy affair with the ball often ballooned into the air.

The nearest Harwich came to adding to their tally was when Watts did well to make a diving save onto the ball, following an almighty melee in the goalmouth.

Garrad continued to work hard up front for Harwich whilst Brandon Rusby gave an accomplished display in his deep midfield role, playing in front of the Shrimpers' back four defenders.

Harwich worked hard to claim a deserved three points to keep them in fifth place on a day that saw their two main play-off rivals, Cornard and Holbeach, also win.

Harwich visit Holbeach United on Saturday whilst their under-23s entertain current league leaders Thetford Town under-23s, at the Gwinnell & Sons Royal Oak, kick-off 3pm.