It was the biggest game in the reformed Baldock Town's history this afternoon as they welcome Aylesbury United to The New Lambs Meadow in the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round. This tie pitched Step six v Step four of the non-league pyramid and was a real banana skin for The Ducks who came into the game in good form winning their last three league and cup games all by teh same scoreline of 1-0 including victory in the 'El Quackio' against their fierce local rival's Aylesbury FC.
Baldock Town had beaten Ardley United, North Greenford United and Thame United to get to this stage - due to their cup success they have only played two Spartan South Midlands League Division One games so far.
Aylesbury United have a rich history in the competition having famously reached the round's proper on numerous occasions but since they lost their Buckingham Road ground in 2006 they haven't been able to repeat that feat - they did reach the Forth Qualifying Round in 2008 where they were beaten by Sutton United. Unfortnuately they still play outside their home town currently ground sharing with Chesham United with their former stadium standing deralict which is a real travesty for not just football in the town but for the whole community. Hopefully as their loyal supporter's flag states 'Bring The Duck's Home' they may return to their town soon.
UP FOR THE CUP - BALDOCK'S RED ARMY
The game was played in front of a good crowd of 335* people including a noisy away following who gave their team an FA Cup ticka-tape welcome on the terraces just before kick off. One member of Baldock's red army fan's group even went with a traditional silver foil FA Cup which was brilliant to see.
(* they got 79 for their FA Vase game against Buckingham Town last Sunday)
Both teams were evenly matched and you couldn't tell which team was the higher level one. The first half an hour or so was a real battle in midfield with no real scoring opportunites with the game played in the pooring rain. The first chance came on 37 minutes when Baldocks' Harry Holland's volley was superbly saved by Jack Sillitoe (he made his debut for the club in 2007 having progressed from the youth team and has now made over 250 appearances for his home town club) in the away goal. Tyriq Hunte was a real thorn in Baldock's side on the wing - He is really powerfully built and has the speed to match. He did everything but score on 42 minutes when through on goal he put his shot just over the bar. The away fans didn't have to wait too long to celebrate though as a free kick into the box was headed back allowing Ryan Kinnane to score just before the half time break. The away support then sang "Are you watching Stevie G?" in a cheeky nod towards the Liverpool and England legend who left a good luck message to Luke Gregson's team on social media during the week leading up to the game.
Josh Coley was the best player for Baldock in the opening half and looked very lively going forward showing some good skill, pace and trickery all through the game.
Straight after the break it was so very nearly 1-1 when Owen Robertson headed against the bar from close range. I think it this had of gone in the home side may well of gone on to win the game.
AYLESBURY UNITED'S TYRIQ HUNTE - THE 19 YEAR OLD HAS ONLY RECENTLY SIGNED FOR THE CLUB AFTER SPENDING PRE-SEASON WITH AYLESBURY FC. HE HAS ALSO PLAYED FOR OXFORD CITY AND WANTAGE TOWN
It was 0-2 on 62 minutes when Hunte was put through on goal again and slipped the ball into the net - He also scored the winner for The Ducks in the last round at Tilbury. Baldock pushed their opponents all the way to the final whistle and each player can be proud of their performance. Substitute Zach Decker made it 1-2 with a great volley at the far post following a corner in injury time to make for a nervy ending but it was the away side who hung on to secure a place in the Third Qualifying Round for the first time since 2008/09 and also pocket the £4,500 prize money.
including all three goals scored are below