GODMANCHESTER Rovers striker Bass scored a hat trick of penalties on Saturday in an astonishing game at Bearscroft Lane.

Godmanchester were 2-1 down with seven minutes to go after a tetchy second half in which both sides had chances but neither were able to add to the three early goals.

At times the referee struggled to keep control as tempers flared and voices were raised.

Godmanchester started the brightly with Jordan Brocket and Johnny Hall forcing Healstead goalkeeper Matt Walker to make early saves - but they were hit on the break when Jordan Hutchings beat Rob Mackney on 21 minutes.

Two minutes later Bass scored the first of his three penalties; the referee awarding a spot kick after Bass's original free kick had been blocked by a rising elbow from the wall.

Hutchings made it 2-1 on 26 minutes with a cracking goal, a 25-yard shot which he released after spotting the Rovers goalkeeper off his line.

Walker ensured the visitors' half time lead was intact when he tipped over a close-range John Turner header moments before the break.

Things began to heat up early on in the second half but for all the bluster neither team were able to find the net until the astonishing grand finale.

Hall went closest for Godmanchester but his shot went wide on 55 minutes, while Barry Albone's dangerous cross was too far ahead of his teammates.

Having already turned down two more Godmanchester penalty appeals - one for a blatant handball when a Halstead player finger-tipped the ball over his own bar, the other for a push - the referee was harried into consulting his assistant and pointed to the spot with eight minutes remaining after Mike Hyam had been brought down in the box.

Bass stepped up and calmy tucked away that penalty too - but within a minute Halstead were back in front after Mackney dropped a deep cross right onto the foot of Lee Hurkett who had the easiest of tasks to poke the ball home.

There was even time for a brilliant save and a sending off before Bass's hat trick spot kick: John Turner caught the ball beautifully on the edge of the Halstead area only for Walker to athletically tip it over the bar, the Burkett was shown a second yellow card and a red for argument with the referee.

It was a good minute into time-added-on, the referee saw another push in the Halstead box and Bass was clinical again.

"We even had a strong case for another penalty when Martin Pryor was taken out by the keeper," said joint manager Nev Nalia after the game. "The referee for some reason decided against giving that one - much to the amazement of both sets of players."

Not present at the game was Godmanchester centre back and club captain Nicky Hurst, who was released from hospital following a serious operation on Friday - but who was not well enough to attend.

The point kept Godmanchester in third in the Eastern Counties Division One table, and they now face second-placed side Whitton on Saturday with both Jason King and Tom moran back in contention following injuries.