Crucial win for Halesworth
Halesworth Town 3, Bramford Road Old Boys 1THIS was probably Town's biggest Suffolk and Ipswich Football League Division One game of the season so far.
Halesworth Town 3, Bramford Road Old Boys 1
THIS was probably Town's biggest Suffolk and Ipswich Football League Division One game of the season so far.
The win took them nine points above second from bottom Bramford, and with the league being so tight this year moved Town a little closer to maintaining their Division One status.
Goals from Cockerill, Prendergast and Pritchard delivered the win.
Town started brightly, with Wilson freeing Idle down the left. His cross was acrobatically met by Prendergast, whose shot was just too high.
Town then attacked down the right with Ling cleverly chipping the ball over the Bramford defence for the advancing Holmes, who shot wide.
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Chances were being created but Bramford dropped deep and it was proving difficult to find a way through. This also meant that Bramford could counter-attack, and they did so for most of the remainder of the half.
Town twice had to thank Hayes, who was back in the goal, for keeping Bramford at bay.
Town nearly took the lead just before the break when Cockerill found Prendergast who went one-on-one, but he out-foxed himself and the defender got back in time to prevent a shot.
Town came out focused for a second-half go at the Bramford back line.
Richardson's delivery had been excellent all day and soon he cut inside the full-back and found Cockerill at the far post.
He continued his superb scoring form and headed Town into the lead.
Jermy and Williams were getting the job done at the back, which led to Town doubling their lead.
Ling and Idle combined to get Richardson into the area and his cross was turned into the net by Prendergast.
Town went to sleep, Wilson clearing off the line from one corner and Hayes tipping a header around a post from another to save them before Bramford pulled a goal back.
With players tiring and Bramford on the front foot it was a relief when Pritchard closed down the full-back in the area, causing the visitor to panic.
The ball broke loose and Pritch coolly stroked the ball into the net for all three points ahead of the trip to Haughley.
Haughley 2, Halesworth Town 3
HALESWORTH were on a run of four games without defeat against a Haughley side sitting second in the table.
In a bad start start a long ball caught Town's defence napping and the centre forward raced clear to tuck the ball away.
Town who should have been level just five minutes later when Cockerill's superb header was ruled out for offside. Town's equaliser came from a corner. Richardson crossed and Cockerills header found the top corner.
Richardson again turned provider from a free-kick, delivering to Prendergast who turned the ball in on the spin.
McDonald was playing fantastically at full-back, blocking shots, linking play and overlapping. His persistence led to another corner from Richardson from which Idle's shot crept through a heap of players and Prendergast fired home.
Haughley kept creating pressure but Jermy and Holmes were playing at the top of their form and seemed to see Haughley attacks before they happened, such was their reading of the game.
On the one occasion when Haughley did break free, Hayes saved excellently in a one on one situation.
Half-time came and went and Town knew that work rate was paramount in the second half.
This was phenomenal with every player doing his bit to keep the lead. The forwards shut down defenders and the midfield broke up play, none more so than Pritchard who got his foot on nearly everything.
The defence didn't seem troubled and Hayes' handling was assured.
Haughley threw more men forward and with five minutes to go a lapse in concentration saw Haughley score, but Town held firm.
This week Town play host to St Edmunds 65 at Dairy Hill, Halesworth, kick off 2.30pm.
Meanwhile, the reserves travel to Ipswich Rovers.