With the Bedfordshire County League outfit stating in the week running up to the match that they might not be as strong as hoped, manager Grant took the opportunity to leave a few players out.
Shillington to be fair to them weren't a bad side, but had Baldock been at their playing peak they would no doubt have ran out comfortable winners. However, a Baldock side which stood off and went through the motions at times made things very even in the opening 45 minutes.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 20th minute when following good work from Derek Newton, Sam Crow drove low beyond the keeper from just inside the penalty area.
Although in front, Town failed to build on their advantage and were subsequently punished when some sloppy play allowed the hosts to level on 36 minutes. An Anthony Bowskill pass was intercepted in his own half with the home player's block ricocheting into the path of a Shillington forward who got the wrong side of Adam Furness and superbly guided the ball past the onrushing Nicky Stilwell.
Baldock were able to restore their lead within three minutes though when they won a free-kick on the right hand side. A high ball into the box was not dealt with and Newton pounced on the loose ball to slot home from fifteen yards.
Clearly not happy with his side's first half display, Grant lead his troops on the long walk back to the changing rooms to rally them for the second half.
A change of formation and the introduction of Gary Christie and Jack Harman seemed to give the Reds a bit more potency in attack. Harman should've opened his account early in the second period when he was sent clear, but he drove wide of the target.
Baldock enjoyed long spells of possession as Shillington rarely threatened kicking into the strong breeze in the second half, but a lack of quality in the final third kept the game in the balance.
Fortunately for the Reds, they finally sealed victory seven minutes from time when a well-flighted corner from Christie was met with a bullet-header into the roof of the net from Harman. Christie could quite easily of had a goal of his own in the closing stages, but he was unable to hit the target when well placed.
All in all not the performance we wanted ahead of the curtain-raiser with Letchworth next weekend, but a win nonetheless and Grant will have to ponder his selection for the Herts Senior County League Charity Shield encounter at The County Ground.
Town: Stilwell, A.Furness, Woodley, Beadsworth, Stovell, Bowskill, Morrison, Pitcairn, Crow, Hennessey, Newton Subs Used: Duff, Jarvis, Christie, Harman, Bergman