Reds batter Cod to set up promotion showdown
Baldock Town set up a promotion showdown with Harpenden after brushing aside Codicote at Roker Park on Saturday.
From the moment Callum Riley put Town in front midway through the first half, the result was never in doubt and they possibly could even have won by a more convincing score line.
With Jack Farmer and Freddie Morris both suspended for this game, Luke Gregson drafted in Daniel Plumb in goal. Jack Gregson also returned in midfield after missing the last couple of games with a hamstring injury.
Codicote were 2-1 winners in their visit to Roker Park last term, but Baldock forced them onto the back foot early on. Three minutes in Luke Gregson won a race to the ball with onrushing ex-Reds keeper Andrew McEwan on the left, but his fine looping attempt was headed to safety by another ex-Red Louis Woodley.
Six minutes later Jack Gregson tested the reflexes of McEwan with a trademark free-kick. However, the inevitable opener finally arrived on 23 minutes. A throw in by Charlie Payne was chested into the path of Luke Gregson by Lee Harman and Gregson's ball across the box was crashed home into the roof of the net by Riley.
Baldock continued to dominate possession and they grabbed a second goal ten minutes before half time. A good build up down the left saw the ball crossed to the far post. The ball looked to be heading for safety, but Riley did superbly to make something of it and his pass across goal was diverted home by Luke Gregson.
After the break Lee Harman wasted a good chance to further increase the score line, blazing over following good work from Riley. Codicote then had a half chance of their own when a rare foray forward resulted in a shot into the side netting.
The game was up for the visitors moments later though when a Riley corner to the near post wasn't dealt with. A slight deflection went straight to Josh Furness and he stabbed home into the bottom left hand corner. It was proving all too easy for the hosts.
Owen Robertson had a speculative effort sail just wide of the target before Lee Harman got his customary goal midway through the second period. Another good passage of play down the left saw the ball worked into him in the penalty area. He was afforded far too much room as he turned and blasted past McEwan into the roof of the net.
If there was one minor down side of a dominant Town display, maybe they could've clocked up a few more goals particularly with the slightly inferior goal difference to rivals Harpenden Town, but this was still a solid enough and comfortable victory nonetheless
Attentions now turn to Tuesday night. The Reds go to Rothamsted Park knowing that a win would put them on the brink of Premier Division football next season. It has been a monumental effort from the management and players to get to this fixture with fate still in their own hands - particularly with the run-in of tough away games they've had.
With Biggleswade looking like clinching the title and the first of two promotion spots, 90 minutes will all but decide the fate of both Harpenden Town and Baldock Town in the race to join them. Who will come out on top? Be there to find out (7.45pm KO @ Rothamsted Park, Harpenden, AL5 2EF)...
Town: Plumb, Furness, Payne, Gilbert(Beckwith 83), Kenna, J Gregson, Coppin, L Gregson, Robertson(Holland 72), Harman, Riley(Hennessey 66)
|Date||Biggleswade (Pld: 37, Pts: 90, GD: +83)||Baldock Town (Pld: 38, Pts: 89, GD: +64)||Harpenden Town (Pld: 37, Pts: 86, GD: +69)|
|Tue 18-Apr||Arlesey Town Res (H)||Harpenden Town (a)||Baldock Town (H)|
|Sat 22-Apr||Ampthill Town (a)||Codicote (H)|
|Wed 26-Apr||Wodson Park (a)|
|Sat 29-Apr||Winslow United (a)||Brimsdown (H)|