HALSTEAD TOWN were the main beneficiaries on what could prove a pivotal weekend in the Thurlow Nunn League.

The Humbugs are third in first division south and enhanced their play-off ambitions with a 2-0 victory at home to Lopes Tavares.

Leaders Hashtag United had a weekend off but an added bonus for Mark McLean's side were the points dropped by both White Ensign, in second, and fourth-placed HARWICH AND PARKESTON.

Halstead ensured maximum points for themselves thanks to a goal in each half, at the Milbank Stadium.

Jordan Pavett put them ahead early on and the second goal came from skipper Gary Burdett.

The Humbugs are three points ahead of Harwich, who drew 1-1 at home to Frenford.

Callum Griffiths put the hosts ahead from the penalty spot but they were pegged back at the Royal Oak - the Shrimpers' first at their home ground since January 12.

Their previous five fixtures have all been away.

COGGESHALL UNITED are fifth but still in the promotion race because of their games in hand.

However, the Weavers suffered a 3-0 defeat at home to Hackney Wick.

HOLLAND FC lost 3-2 at home to Benfleet while BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT RESERVES lost 2-0 at Wormley Rovers.

However, perhaps the standout result of the day was WIVENHOE TOWN'S 0-0 draw at Burnham Ramblers.

Not an obvious choice for our star performance award but significant when put into context.

The Dragons had lost their previous 15 matches and new manager Gary Monti was in charge for the first time, which is why they were deserving winners of the Gazette prize.

LITTLE OAKLEY and BRAINTREE TOWN RESERVES were both without games on Saturday.

In the premier division, there were defeats for both FC CLACTON and BRANTHAM ATHLETIC.

The Seasiders lost 4-2 at title-chasing Woodbridge Town, despite goals from Karl Andrade, from the spot, and Harry McDonald.

Brantham lost 1-0 at Whitton United.