Eynesbury Rovers win by the odd goal in five against Baldock Town
- Credit: Archant
Eynesbury Rovers closed to within two points of Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division leaders Colney Heath with a 3-2 home win against Baldock Town.
They had to come from behind to do it, and almost threw it away late on, but a header from Martin Danobrega eight minutes from time was enough for the victory.
It was a clash of two different styles, Rovers using possession-based football and controlled attacking while Baldock went for solid defence and quick counter-attacks, but in truth there was little between the two sides.
For all the possession Eynesbury had in that first period it was the visitors who had the better openings, a lot of them from errors at the back.
That’s how the opening goal came.
Rovers were robbed of possession inside their own half and that allowed Scott Piggott to set Ashley Hay away.
He looked like he could have chipped Shay Griffiths with his second touch but chose to come in on his right foot.
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It proved the right decision as this time he flighted his shot perfectly over the head of the keeper.
The lead didn’t last long though, four minutes in fact, and it was an unfortunate one for the Reds.
Josh Brown had been playing some lovely balls through but after a series of corners had caused some tension in the defence, he chose to shoot from distance.
It wouldn’t have beaten Robbie Ponting, not until it spun off a Baldock foot and flew the opposite way to the stopper and in.
Baldock though should have been back ahead inside the next two minutes with two gilt-edged opportunities.
The first one came from another turnover, but although the shot beat Griffiths it didn’t have the pace to go in and James Ducket made an impressive goal-line clearance.
Hay got himself in a similar position to his goal seconds after that. This time he played it across the edge of the box to Piggott who also stepped inside.
However, with the keeper beating a hasty retreat, the shot went wide.
Both sides had chances before the half came to a close.
Charlie Rome headed over for Baldock while Jordan Brown had two efforts, one beaten away by Ponting and the over hit over the top.
A deflected cross also hit the top of the Baldock bar.
Both sides would have been disappointed somewhat with some of their efforts during the break.
But Eynesbury would have known they should have done better with their possession and good positions while Baldock would have lamented the missed opportunities.
The resumption came without as much urgency as was seen in the first half and it also saw Baldock continue their very good defensive work.
That was led by the influential Luke Rowland who was in an immovable object and the rock on which many Eynesbury attacks faltered.
One header from a corner landed on the top of the net and another shot from Cameron Hyde was half blocked and gathered by Ponting but apart from that, the opening 20 minutes were almost shaded by the visitors.
They even had a couple of promising counter-attacks, Rome firing into the midriff of a defender from the best of them.
It was getting to the stage where you felt Eynesbury would get frustrated, as long as Baldock continued in the same vein.
It was therefore perhaps no surprise that one moment where Baldock were less than exemplary at the back brought the second home goal.
A cross was met by a defender but the clearance only went a little more than six yards and straight to Jordan Brown.
He made no mistake, guiding it to the left of Ponting and into the far corner.
Both benches were emptied as each team looked to freshen things up.
And it worked to a point, with the sides trading identical goals.
Baldock struck first with 10 minutes to go as a corner from the left found Josh Furness a few yards out and he made no mistake.
However, two minutes later the very same set-piece but at the other end put Eynesbury in front.
This time it was Danobrega who ghosted in at the near post to head unmarked past Ponting.
The Baldock keeper had to make one smart save to beat out a Craig Daniel effort but bar a couple of forays forward by the visitors there was to be no further goal action and Rovers took the spoils.
Eynesbury Rovers: Griffiths, Josh Brown, Hyde, Daniel, J.Ducket, Uttridge, Danobrega, Ives (Olukanmi 66), Hatch (Stephens-Abbey 74), Andrew (R.Ducket 30), Jordan Brown.
Subs (not used): Fuller, Osei-Addo.
Goals: Own goal 23, Jordan Brown 69, Danobrega 82
Booked: Jordan Brown 55
Baldock Town: Ponting, Decker, Burton (Morris 74), Furness, Rowland, Harper (Sinclair 66), Gaffney, Coppin (Brooker 76), Rome, Piggott, Hay.
Subs (not used): Doolan, Franklin.
Goals: Hay 18, Furness 80
HT: Eynesbury Rovers 1 Baldock Town 1
Referee: Elliot Mayer