10-man Reds march on in Anagram Trophy
The Anagram Records Trophy holders continued their defence with a convincing 3-0 win at fellow Herts Senior County League outfit Wormley Rovers.
Not even going down to 10 men for the last 25 minutes of the game could disrupt Baldock's flow on Saturday as they dispatched the team that had ended their 11-game winning streak just three weeks ago.
Baldock manager Scott Grant was without five 1st Team squad members for this fixture and so was forced to re-shape his side somewhat. However, Town were bolstered by the return of Scott Rennie to the Club, having re-joined from Langford.
You would never have told that Town were missing a few key men though, by the way they started the game, as they got at Wormley from the first whistle, obviously hungry to avenge that surprise league defeat in mid-December.
There was barely five minutes on the clock when Baldock should have had a definite penalty. As Stuart Bergman drove into the box from midfield, he attracted a desperate tackle from a Wormley defender that did not get the ball and brought Bergman down in his stride. Amazingly the referee waved play on, much to both teams astonishment!
Town did not have to wait too long though before they did take the lead. Skipper Anthony Bowskill cut inside from the left flank and drilled a shot inside the near post from 25 yards. This was the catalyst for Baldock to really take control of the game and for the rest of the 1st half they played at a good tiempo and caused Wormley a lot of problems without extending their lead.
Baldock forced themselves a number of corners that they looked dangerous from. The new front pairing of Jack Harman and Josh Furness were a constant menace for the Wormley defence every time that Town went forward. Baldock were only 1-0 up though and needed a second goal while they were on top and this was the message that the management would have been sending at the break.
They did not need to wait too long into the second period for that goal to help ease any concerns of a Wormley fight back. A Scott Rennie cross was charged down illegally with a raised arm by a Wormley defender and this time the referee had no hesitation pointing to the spot for handball. It was regular penalty taker Bowskill that stepped up to take the spot kick and he calmly dispatched it into the corner of the net to double Baldock's lead.
For the next 10 minutes Town went searching for a third and both Furness and Harman went close. Then with 25 minutes to go there was a flash point that changed the mood of the game. Tempers had been flaring slightly before this incident occurred, but it still came out of the blue, as the Wormley no.9 and Baldock left back Derek Newton clashed on the touch line by the dug outs.
A simple foul by Newton led to the Wormley forward kicking out at the Town full back as they were both getting up from the floor. At this point the red mist descended on Newton and he began throwing punches at his opponent, sparking a brawl that both teams and benches were involved in.
Newton was not the only one that threw punches and once it all calmed down the outcome was a red card for Newton and the Wormley manager Brian Lock plus a number of yellow cards.
This somewhat changed the complexity of the game as Baldock now had to sit back a little more than previously and Wormley were looking to use their man advantage and attack Baldock. The Town defence stood firm though and on the one and only occasion Wormley did look like scoring, Baldock goalkeeper Nicky Stilwell pulled off a magnificent save to keep them at bay.
With 10 minutes remaining, Baldock sealed the win with a well-taken goal from Matt Hayes as he side stepped a defender and rounded the goalkeeper to slot home from 10 yards. This finished Wormley off and they had little fight left in them for the remainder of the game making it plain sailing for Baldock.
This was a good solid display and puts Town into the quarter finals of the Anagram Records Trophy where they will face their local rivals Letchworth Garden City Eagles.
Town: Stilwell, Stovell, Newton, Payne, Morgan, Bowskill, Bergman(Crow 78), Hayes, Furness(Woodley 78), Harman, Rennie Subs not used: Grant