BALDOCK TOWN 3 LONDON COLNEY 4 (HT 1-2)
By Mike Godfrey
Reds Denied in 7 Goal Thriller!
Baldock Town were left scratching their heads wondering how they had not secured at least a point after this full-bloodied battle against London Colney.
With Adam Harpur taking his place between the sticks and a return for Freddie Morris in midfield, manager Luke Gregson had to shuffle his pack with midweek injuries to both Myles Lee and Kim Forsythe ruling them out.
Baldock were in charge in the early exchanges, looking dangerous down the left-hand side as Kieran Barnes had a shot fly past the post. At the other end London Colney were proving quick on the break and Chris Griffin fired over the bar from close range.
On 13 minutes the visitors were ahead as their impressive, tricky front man Gareth Price was pulled down by Harpur in the box, causing the referee to immediately point to the spot. Striker Loren Maxwell sent Harpur the wrong way to give the Blue Boys an early advantage.
There followed a period of pressure from the visiting side, making penetrating runs down the right-hand side, culminating initially in a fine save from Harpur and a period of play where the ball pinged around the home teams’ box like a pin-ball machine.
Baldock started to assert themselves and on 20 minutes, Lewis Barker was fouled just outside the penalty area, resulting in a curling Barnes free-kick going over the bar. But very soon the Reds were level from a controversial Sam James goal. A cross came in from the left and James appeared to chest it over the line, causing the Blue Boys defence to surround the referee claiming it was handled. Mr Panconi however was adamant and pointed to his chest dismissing the appeals.
Over the next few minutes Baldock continued in the ascendancy with a Charlie Joy kick being pushed over by the keeper and an effort being disallowed for offside. But once more, against the run of play, London Colney won a free-kick on the left which was played on to the head of giant defender Zach Holding, who guided it home.
Just before the half-time whistle Barker went close with a free-kick, but at the break it was 2-1 to the visitors.
Just after the resumption, Baldock broke threateningly down the right and Barnes played a sublime ball through to Harry Holland who shot over. But with 49 minutes on the clock, it was déjà vu for Baldock as another free-kick on the left was put in to the net by Holding giving London Colney a 3-1 lead.
Over the next period, the Reds went agonisingly close, firstly through a Barker header being cleared off the line and then a Holland left-footed shot screaming past the post. London Colney keeper Jack Metcalfe got down well to save a Barnes shot and another Barker header from a Barnes cross was desperately kicked away by the man in goal. Another Barnes shot flew past the post and by this time Baldock were going for it, prepared not to take any prisoners!
Eventually with 20 minutes remaining on the clock, the continued pressure told with a Barnes free-kick from 25 yards being deflected through the defensive wall and ending up in the net past a helpless Metcalfe. The action continued, as did the driving rain, and the assault on the Blue Boys goal certainly didn’t ease up as a cross from the right was met by a Barker header which rebounded off the bar, giving Holland the opportunity to bundle the ball over the line for the deserved equaliser.
Meanwhile on 82 minutes, from a rare London Colney foray into the Baldock half, a corner on the left resulted in the ball coming to Griffin who shot through a sea of legs restoring the away side’s lead.
Resuming the hunt for a point, Baldock continued their offensive and with a couple of minutes left on the clock another Barnes free-kick clattered off the post, but soon the time was up and the referee put an end to proceedings with a jubilant London Colney side celebrating a 4-3 victory.
Baldock Town: Harpur, Brooks, Furness (Ngwala), Gilbert, Kenna ©, Morris, Joy, Barker, Holland, Barnes, James (Robertson). Unused subs: Farmer (GK), Gregson.
Scorers: James, Barnes, Holland.
Baldock Town return to the New Lamb Meadow this coming Wednesday evening (14th November) for a third home match on the bounce, when Biggleswade United again are the visitors in a Premier Division Cup tie – kick-off 7.45