It’s really not too hard to find this weekend’s star performers from the north Essex sides playing in the Thurlow Nunn League.

It was a big night of local derby action at the Milbank Stadium as Halstead Town hosted division one south promotion rivals Harwich & Parkeston and it proved a momentous occasion for the hosts.

Halstead returned to the summit of the Thurlow Nunn League division one south table – albeit briefly - as they ended the Shrimpers’ stunning run of form in a feisty encounter.

A Callum Vincent penalty and a superb Kane Munday strike in the first half saw the Humbugs run out as 2-0 winners to go top of the league on goal difference, although they were overtaken the following day as Hashtag United returned to the top with a win against White Ensign.

It was still a fantastic win for Halstead.

Harwich came into the game on the back of a 12-game winning run that had equalled a post-war club record and the last club to beat them had been Halstead with a 3-2 victory at the Royal Oak in October.

And with both sides pressing for promotion – Halstead in third and Harwich in fourth at the start of the game – it was the type of result that is hard to ignore when awarding the star performance honour.

As well as Harwich, though, it proved a difficult weekend for several other north Essex sides operating in division one south.

Wivenhoe Town’s run of defeats was stretched to a 12th game as they were beaten 2-0 at promotion-chasing May & Baker and Holland FC also lost on the road as they were beaten 2-1 at Lopes Tavares.

Braintree Town Reserves suffered a 3-2 home loss against Burnham Ramblers, while Coggeshall United had a 3-0 win at Brightlingsea Regent Reserves thanks to an Andy Fennel brace and a Danny Scott strike.

Little Oakley were left kicking their heels as their scheduled fixture at Hackney Wick was postponed due to the home club’s venue not being available.

In the premier division, Brantham Athletic and Stowmarket Town stayed in eighth and third places respectively as they battled out a 0-0 stalemate and there was also a draw for FC Clacton.

The Seasiders remained 12th as they extended their unbeaten run to four games with a 2-2 draw against visiting Whitton United.

Karl Andrade gave Clacton the lead on six minutes, but they had to come from behind to take a point as Whitton scored twice in three minutes after the break.

Max Booth came to the rescue, though, and his goal on 66 minutes was enough to secure a point.

Meanwhile, in the Essex Senior League, Stanway Rovers had success on home soil as Hoddesdon Town were beaten 2-1 at the Hawthorns.