HARWICH and Parkeston fell to a third successive 2-0 defeat after losing to Stanway Pegasus in their Boxing Day derby, writes COLIN ROGERS.

The Thurlow Nunn League first division north match kicked off in front of a bumper holiday crowd of more than 300 at the Royal Oak.

On the rain-soaked surface, the Shrimpers made a bright start with skipper Gareth Heath delivering two excellent crosses but their attackers were unable to capitalise.

An error in the Harwich defence was punished with the ball being squared to striker Callum Griffiths, who snapped up the opportunity to give Pegasus the lead.

The visitors also created a couple of further goalscoring chances before half time.

From the first, a one on one situation, Shrimpers goalkeeper Brad Cook stood up well to make a good save and the second opportunity was headed wide.

As expected the match between promotion-chasing second-placed Pegasus and fifth-placed Harwich was very competitive but conditions made it difficult for the teams to produce their best football.

In the second half, Harwich put some good moves together but in the final third of the pitch found the impressive Pegasus defence well organised and difficult to penetrate.

Harwich's best effort came from Alfie Canning's 25-yard drive which went just wide of the post.

The Shrimpers were further hampered when influential midfielder Heath suffered a shoulder injury and had to be substituted.

With time running out Harwich were pushing forward in the hope of an equaliser.

But it was still evident that the Pegasus strike force were the more potent and Sam Cripps sealed victory for them with their second goal.

Harwich travel to meet Cornard United on Saturday while their under-23 team entertain top of the table Thetford Town under-23s.