Baldock opened up the brightest in this very important cup tie.
Joy went close with a free kick from about 25 yards out, he took the kick and curled it narrowly past. Joy and Rome were linking up well in midfield and an interchange of passes resulted in Rome getting through on the Keeper but he managed to pull off a point blank save. That could have been the first.
Baldock remained dominant, without being too effective in the final third. Hay was doing some good work on the right and In 23 mins he put in a deep cross for Piggott, at the back post, and he headed down for Gaffney who blasted over from just outside the box. It was starting to become one way traffic with Halstead rarely threatening. In 28 mins Piggott fought hard to retain the ball inside the centre circle and he managed to release Morris on the left who worked into the box but his shot was deflected for a corner. The corner was taken and cleared out to Joy who shot on target but it was cleared over the bar by a defensive block. Baldock were straight back at them when Hay continued to trouble the defence on the right and beat two defenders, got to the byline and crossed for Gaffney who shot over. In 34 mins Baldock got lucky when a mistake on the edge of the box allowed Halstead through on Harpur but a soft effort was cleared rather fortunately by Furness. A few minutes later a cracking switched ball from the left found Hay on the far right, he controlled a really high ball with his shoulder and crossed for Piggott who was then in on the Keeper but the Ref blew for handball from Hay a few seconds earlier. Halstead managed a shock goal on 41 mins when Harpur dropped the ball under pressure from a defender at the back post - it was an easy knock in for a Halstead goal. Baldock finished the half 1-0 down which was well against the run of play.
Baldock started the second half brightly enough but you could tell that Halstead were immediately looking to slow the game down and delay play. Early on Baldock had a few chances and in 53 mins Piggott won the ball midway in the opposition half and had a snap shot that nearly could out the Halstead keeper with the shot going narrowly past. Rome was looking particularly impressive in midfield and was dominating. Coppin was on for the second half and when he won the ball On 70 mins in his own half, he played a massive diagonal pass from the halfway line over the defence to find Hay charging through the middle. Hay neatly lobbed the Keeper from about 10 yards. That was an exceptionally cool move - you don’t get time to think about doing that kind of thing. Baldock, having equalised, were then on the hunt for the winner and a cross from Rome on the left had the Halstead defence scrambling when Piggott got on the end of it and turned and shot just wide. A couple of minutes later a great cross from the right found Rowland at the back post, he brought the ball down and had a shot that the Keeper deflected but Furness was close by and he knocked in the ball from all of two yards. 2-1 to Baldock. In 34 mins Halstead had realised that they needed to attack in order to win and they managed to get through the Baldock defence and were though on Harpur but he pulled off a brave save at feet. Harpur then had one of this goalkeeping moments that come along every now and then, and for some reason he put the ball down, didn’t noticed the striker close by who took the ball and passed into an empty net. Three minutes later Baldock were back up the other end where Rome had a free kick from the left, found Rowland who was again causing some confusion in the Halstead defence, he is a big guy and the Halstead defenders were definitely worried when he was around. He didn’t manage a shot himself but Furness was there again to pick up on the scraps to again score from really close in. That’s three goals that Furness has managed recently from a total of about six yards - good going for a central defender. That was about it and a good win that everyone was relieved to get.
Team; Harpur, Franklin, Burton, Rome, Furness, Rowland, Joy, Gaffney, Piggott, Hay, Morris, Coppin, Ponting, Decker, Reynolds, Sinclair, Harper, Doolan