Town held by resolute Risborough
Baldock Town failed to score for only the second time this season as they were held to a goalless draw at in-form Risborough.
With Baldock unbeaten in six and Risborough unbeaten in five coming into this game and with both of this season's previous meetings between the two settled by the odd goal, this was always likely to be a tight affair. That certainly proved to be the case as both defences came out on top.
Manager Luke Gregson was forced into a change just before kick off when brother Jack pulled up with a hamstring problem. He was already without Lewis Barker, so Owen Robertson was given the nod and Gregson partnered himself alongside Alex Coppin in midfield after a reshuffle.
I don't know if this enforced change affected the visitors in the first half, but they could have found themselves two behind inside 14 minutes.
In the opening minute, a simple flick on had a home forward in behind, but his shot from the right hand side of the penalty area ended up well wide of the target.
On 14 minutes, a terrific surging run from the pacey Risborough number 11 saw him cut through the Baldock defence. However, Jack Farmer pulled off what proved to be a very important save in a game where chances were at a premium.
Baldock slowly got into the game, but front two Harry Holland and Lee Harman were getting very little out of a strong and well-drilled Risborough defence. The only chance Baldock were able to fashion in a difficult opening 45 was a good move down the right hand side. The ball was fed out nicely to Luke Hennessey and his cross was scuffed wide on the half volley by Holland.
To their credit, the visitors upped their game after the break and they won a free kick right on the edge of the penalty area soon after the restart. Gregson's cross-cum-shot was blocked and the ball was cleared following a brief scramble.
Quartet Owen Robertson, Harman, Holland and Hennessey all became more prominent as the game began to open up, but despite some decent balls into the box at times, Town were unable to make anything of them.
After coming under attack from some long throws and deep set pieces in the first half, the tables had now turned and Baldock were forcing a number of their own. Luke Gregson went close with a near post glancing header, but other than this and penning the home side back for much of the half, the Risborough back line remained resolute.
Both sides traded half chances as the match edged to a close, but in the end honours finished even. Despite drawing a blank and still in second having played a game more than rivals Biggleswade, Gregson was upbeat "It was a tough game. I think we pushed hard second half and the longer the game went on I felt we would win it. I'm happy with the performance - the lads gave their all. We go on to the next one and hopefully we can get 3 points on Saturday".
Gregson's men are once again on the road this weekend. They travel to a resurgent Brimsdown who have lost one of their last six as they bid to avoid the drop. That match is a 3pm KO at Haringey Borough FC.
|Date||Biggleswade (Pld: 35, Pts: 84)||Baldock Town (Pld: 36, Pts: 83)||Harpenden Town (Pld: 35, Pts: 80)|
|Sat 08-Apr||Risborough Rangers (H)||Brimsdown (a)||Ampthill Town (H)|
|Sat 15-Apr||Langford (a)||Codicote (H)||Hatfield Town (a)|
|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)|
Photo courtesy of Marc Keinch