Baldock rediscovered their goalscoring touch with an emphatic victory over mid-table Standon & Puckeridge at The North Herts Arena.
Manager Scott Grant kept faith with last weekend's starting XI despite drawing 0-0 at home to Codicote. In that match the normally deadly Town front three of Louis Taylor, Kane Dougherty and Ryan Aldrin had an off day in front of goal, but it took little over five minutes to open the scoring here.
A ball into Taylor was fed first time into the onrushing Aldrin who outpaced the visiting full back before tucking the ball inside the keeper's near post from close range.
Despite the early setback, the visitors soon settled into the game and kept the Baldock rearguard on their toes with some intricate moves, but without testing keeper Nicky Stilwell with anything of any significance.
Town doubled their advantage on 24 minutes and again it was Aldrin who got it as he tucked away his 11th goal of the season following some good work by Dougherty.
The home side controlled the remainder of the half with efforts from IAN MORRISON and Anthony Bowskill going close, but the points were all but in the bag with the last action of the first half when Taylor burst through one-on-one and with the goalkeeper committed, he squared unselfishly for Dougherty, who tapped in his 14th goal of the season.
The second half started relatively evenly and the visitors gave themselves hope of a revival with arguably the pick of the goals ten minutes in. Baldock surrendered possession in their own half and a couple of quick passes saw the ball go to James Endacott. He surged past a couple of challenges before hitting a superb effort with outside of his right boot into the top right hand corner giving Stilwell no chance.
Any hopes of a comeback were ended just five minutes later though when an attempted shot from Bowskill was blocked and the ball broke kindly for Taylor, who nonchalantly lifted the ball over the onrushing keeper to score his 30th goal of the season.
Dougherty had a chance to extend the lead when a move involving Aldrin and substitute Derek Newton saw the latter square for Dougherty, whose low drive was well saved by the keeper and Aldrin was unable to turn home the rebound.
To the visitors credit they kept probing and Stilwell was forced to save well to his left when a well-struck drive from the edge of the box looked destined for the bottom corner, but in injury-time Newton got in on the goalscoring act. With the visitors pushing players forward, the pacey forward broke in behind on the left and hit a well-measured chip from the corner of the penalty area over the keeper and into the net for a superbly taken goal.
So in the end, Baldock came away with a handsome victory and move nine points clear of Met Police Bushey with eight league games to play, but the second place club now have a game in hand and the pair are set to meet in a possible "title showdown" at the Met's Aldenham Road on April 7th.
Baldock Town FC would like to thank John Feneley for kindly sponsoring this match, Andy Nunn for taking some excellent photos of Saturday's action and The Cold End for the Match Highlights.
Line up; Stilwell, Hayes, Haskins, Lowden, Payne(Christie), Bowskill(Newton), Taylor(Morgan), Rogers, Dougherty, Aldrin, Morrison Subs Not Used: Crow