It was a long and arduous journey in navigating the busy M25 and A1(M) traffic to get from West London to Bedfordshire for Southall FC on Tuesday evening. They travelled to Stotfold's Roker Park ground to play Baldock Town (who currently ground share) in a Spartan South Midlands League Division One game - In all it's roughly a 100 mile round trip which for a small club to undertake at Step six of the non-league ladder is firstly difficult with players and management all having day jobs too but also highly commendable too and shows the players have a huge amount of commitment to their team. .
Going into the game the home side were in fifth place with Southall down in seventeenth of the twenty team Division One table. Baldock had comfortably beaten Herts County League side Wormley Rovers 5-0 on Saturday in the Hertfordshire Senior Centenary Trophy with the away side on the back of two good results in the FA Vase against CB Hounslow United (2-0) and in the League Challenge Cup against Division Two side Grendon Rangers (5-1).
With Assistant Manager John Creith (formerly of Amersham Town and Kentish Town) calmly encouraging his team to pass and attack it was they who looked the better team throughout the first half with the home side looking rather disjointed giving too many passes away. Southall took an early lead when a good pacey run from the centre circle (which was an impressive feature of their play) and subsequent shot was saved by the home keeper only for the rebound/bounce to be knocked into the net by Mark Darreon. They then went on to hit the post during the first 45 minutes.
Gradually the home side started to get back into the game and it was their goalkeeper Dominic Cassells who kept out the equaliser with one or two good saves. On 86 minutes it was Anthony James who made it 1-1 with a good shot from just outside of the box which is how the game ended. It was then down to the drama of kicks from the penalty mark -watch out what occurred in the highlights below.
Southall have a very interesting game in the next round of the FA Vase in an East v West tie when they travel to The Mile End Stadium to play Essex Senior League side Sporting Bengal United on Saturday 31st October.