Ground - Dunton Green Rec, London Road, Dunton Green,TN13 1BA.
Halstead United kicked off their season with a fine 1-0 away win at Dunton Green.
On an extremely bobbly surface the two teams fought out a pretty evenly matched first 45 minutes, the game was very competitive and some good football was played in parts however neither side could find the cutting edge in the final third and were restricted to half chances and long range attempts at goal.
As the second half went on Halstead began to win their individual battles all over the field and created just handful of half chances, Ollie Miles had a free kick tipped around the post by the Dunton Green goalkeeper and George Pickett fired over with a rasping strike from 18 yards, but both sides must have started thinking that the breakthrough was never going to come.
However on 85 minutes Halstead were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal and James Whitelock (who had replaced the impressive Jack Murphy on 60 minutes) stepped up and fired the ball into the top left corner sparking wild celebrations from visiting players and fans alike.
Halstead went on to see out the remaining 5 minutes of the game to secure what was a deserved 3 points on the opening day of the 2010/11 season.
It is a positive start for United against a Dunton Green side who showed signs of why they were successful in their promotion winning campaign last year, they play some good football and will upset a few sides in the league this year.
The defensive shape, communication and spirit in the squad was key to their success. All over the pitch, balls were won both in the air and on the floor by the men in blue and white. Special mention must go to the back 5 (goalkeeper included) who stood firm all afternoon.
A note for future fixtures is that distribution into the front runners and attacking flair must improve but I am sure this will come with match practice as the season goes on.
Man of the match: hard to pick one so the vote goes to the two HUFC centre halves Jaryd Wallis and Sean Merron who organized the side well and didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t allow either of the Dunton Green forwards a chance to settle all game.