Thursday, October 27, 2011

Club Focus - Halstead Town

On Saturday I will hopefully going to see Thetford take on Halstead Town in Division 1 of the Eastern Counties League.

Halstead town at first glance look like they are probably a pretty likeable team, who can't like a team that where quartered shirts like it's still the nineteenth Century? Their record in the Eastern Counties League and the way they lurch from unparalleled success to abject failure also endears them. At the moment they are in one of their boost rather than boom periods. That said I shouldn't get my hopes up too much, as they will perhaps turn out to be an objectionable bunch as teams who wear black and white quite often do!

Halstead were formed in 1879, but due to the relative geographical isolation of the town only played friendlies until they were admitted to the North Essex League in 1894. Their first piece of silverware coming 8 years later when they beat Chingford in the final of the 1902 Essex Junior Cup.

After this early success Halstead flirted with various different local leagues until the end of World War II when they added Town to their name and joined the Essex & Suffolk Border League. During this period they also moved to their Rosemary Lane Ground that they still play at, although in the first season they had no changing rooms and had to change in a local hardware store. They also went on to win division 1 in 1950 and 1952.

In 1958 after promotion to the Premier Division they won the league and the league cup beating Lakenheath 11-4 over two legs in the final. They also went on to win the league in 1969 and 1978 before joining the Essex Senior League in 1980.

In 1988 Halstead joined the newly formed division 1 of the Eastern Counties League. In the first season they finished 2nd and were promoted to the Premier Division. In 1994 they finished runners up in the league and beat Canvey Island 2-0 to claim the Essex Senior Trophy. In 1995 and 1996 they finished top of the league and in 1996 managed the double after beating Fakenham 4-0 in the League Cup Final. They didn't build on this success by applying for promotion and just a few years later in 2001 they were again relegated to the first division. They didn't hang round with rebuilding yet again though as in 2003 they won Division 1 and the Division 1 Cup. It now seemed that Halstead were building momentum again and in 2005 they won the league, but in true Halstead fashion they were relegated again in 2007. They have been in Division 1 since then.

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