Baldock Town FC

Baldock Town FC

Baldock reach Last Four

by John Graham

Baldock Town progressed to the Semi-Final of the Anagram Records Trophy with a tightly contested 1-0 win over Frenford Senior. Anthony Bowskill came off of the bench to score the only goal of the game

Frenford Senior are flying high in the Essex Olympian League and have only conceded 12 league goals all season, so The Reds knew it was going to be a tough game. Ben Lowden returned to the starting line-up after a break through injury and Kane Dougherty also made his return, albeit from the bench. The first half was played at a high standard, with neither side making any notable mistakes and defending excellently. The Frenford striker was causing problems with his strong hold-up play and aerial ability, and at the other end Gary Christie was doing a good job of looking after the ball himself. It was Christie who came closest to opening the scoring mid-way through the half, but his smart turn and strike cannoned back off of the bar and eventually the ball was fired over by Ian Morrison from outside the area. Baldock began to control possession and Louis Taylor created the next opportunity, cutting back onto his left foot before finding Aldrin at the far post who saw his looping header sail just wide of the target. Despite being a well-organised outfit, Frenford seemed to lack some creativity in the final third and Nicky Stilwell was only called into action on a couple of occasions, saving comfortably from long-range efforts. The away side were always a threat from set-pieces though, and there were a couple of nervy moments for Baldock before the break, but the sides went in level at half-time.

The second half was a slightly more open affair, with Baldock predominantly in the ascendency, but it looked as though one goal would be enough to settle the tie. Michael Payne was inches away from breaking the deadlock, but saw his powerful drive from 20 yards fizz agonizingly wide. Baldock were beginning to cause their opponent’s defence real trouble and after Ross Haskins made an excellent run down the left hand side, he squared for Christie who this time saw his close range shot valiantly blocked by the Frenford centre-half. Scott Grant made a double substitution with around 20 minutes left, introducing Bowskill and Dougherty to the game. The move almost instantly paid off, Dougherty winning a header which freed Bowskill behind the away defence but he shot wide after outpacing his counterpart. Bowskill had another chance shortly after, this time being released by Matt Hayes with a lovely chipped through-ball, and made no mistake as he side-footed past the goalkeeper from a very tight angle. Baldock saw out the rest of the game and secured their passage into the penultimate round of the competition for the first time in their history.

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