HALSTEAD Town celebrated 75 years of playing at Rosemary Lane in perfect fashion after beating Coggeshall Town 4-0, writes KEN GILLIARD.

The Humbugs enjoyed a four-goal Essex Senior League win against their first-ever opponents in front of 512, their highest league attendance of the season.

The derby was barely two minutes in when a Coggeshall defender missed his header and Harry Pinkney pounced, lobbing the keeper from the edge of the box.

It was the perfect start for the hosts and they continued to dominate, with man of the match Jules Simon-Parson dominating the midfield.

It got better for the hosts on 14 minutes when the Coggeshall keeper was unable to prevent Joel Older’s corner from going directly into the net and Halstead’s lead was extended.

The Humbugs were controlling the game and bottom side Coggeshall were restricted to the odd breakaway, with their only real threat coming from youthful winger Reggie Gregory.

The half hour mark saw Halstead further extend their lead with a first Humbugs goal for Scott Sloots, who turned and fired home after the visitors failed to clear their lines.

The game was almost over as a contest with an hour remaining and the second half started in the same fashion as the first ended.

The Seedgrowers were thrown a potential lifeline five minutes after the break when Halstead defender Robbie Bennett was sent off for apparently fouling and denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity.

It was an interesting decision given it was an innocuous coming together and he had a fellow defender either side of him.

However, it had little impact on the game and other than a couple of long-range efforts, the visitors didn’t trouble the hosts.

Halstead sealed their win on the hour when a flowing move saw Older pulled down in the box, with Kane Gilbert converting the resultant penalty for his 31st goal of the season.

Jack Cherry made a couple of quality saves in the closing stages on a good day all round for the hosts.

Halstead started their celebrations of being in existence for 145 years in style whilst also contributing heavily to the local community, with the Halstead Foodbank present and taking away a huge amount of donations.