Colney Heath title hopes take a hit as Baldock Town continue good form
PUBLISHED: 21:54 22 January 2020 | UPDATED: 00:30 23 January 2020
Colney Heath remain top of the lead but missed the chance to extend their advantage over Tring Athletic with a 1-0 defeat away to Bldock Town.
Baldock have been on a good run of form over the last few weeks and it has seen them climb the table but eight wins in the last nine, with the other result in that sequence a draw, meant the Magpies were just as upbeat about their chances.
But the league leaders were not at their best and in a match played in thick patchy fog at times, Baldock were good value for their victory
It was decided by Scott Piggott's goal just before the break and ended in bizarre circumstances as Connor Sansom was sent off in stoppage time.
Colney should have opened the scoring inside 70 seconds. A ball through for Spencer Clarke-Mardel broke loose but behind the defence, dropping kindly for Jon Clements.
You would have backed him to make it 30 for the season too but Adam Harpur flung himself to his left and made an excellent save.
They had a couple of long-range efforts in the next 10 minutes but apart from that they failed to really create much.
The only other chance was for Clarke-Mardel who was released by a lovely ball by Dominic Knaggs.
And he had a good view of the net with Harpur on his near post but under pressure he could only fire low and the keeper kicked it behind.
And the longer the half went on, the more Baldock grew in confidence.
Alex Coppin had already fired a hard effort that was still rising towards goal but Danny May put his head in the way to concede the corner.
And the Reds were getting into some good positions without finding the decisive final ball.
That all changed on 43 minutes but the Magpies will be disappointed with the defending.
Coppin was given too much space on the edge of the box and he made good yards before firing a shot.
That was deflected but it ran to Piggott and he finished with aplomb, giving Sansom no chance.
The second half began in similar fashion with Baldock on the attack and with their tails up.
They forced a couple of corners, one of which was nodded just wide by Will McClelland.
Colney did create one good chance with Yasin Boodhoo getting a shot away but it was blocked behind.
But they were forced into a second substitution in the first 10 minutes of the half, Taylor Cobb going off with an injury to be replaced by Josh Humbert.
A tactical sub during the break had brought Max Mitchell into the fray and the third and final replacement was made by the visitors on 65 minutes with Callum Dudrenec's introduction.
And the stoppages and changes in personnel did have an effect, giving Colney Heath a chance to push on.
But again there was little in the way of clear opportunities as balls forward were generally overhit of gobbled up by the gleeful defenders.
Sansom was the keeper who was next in action making a stunning diving save to deny former Harpenden team-mate Charlie Gould.
And with the fog descended thicker and thicker the match ended with the linesman centre of attention.
He flagged when Clarke-Mardel and Josh Furness clashed, the referee decided a stiff talking to was all that was required, and then he flagged moments later when Sansom came rushing out to block chance.
And whether it was for handball or for dangerous play but after consultation a red cared was issued.
It was a bad end to a bad day for Colney Heath but for Baldock the resurgence goes on.
Colney Heath: Sansom, May, Knaggs, Boodhoo, Doolan (Mitchell 46), Griffin, Westmore (Dudrenec 65), Cobb (Humbert 56), Clements, O'Connor, Clarke-Mardel.
Subs (not used): Shuttlewood, Anthony.
Booked: Clarke-Mardel 90+5
Sent-off: Sansom 90+3
Baldock Town: Harpur, Duguid, Furness, Coppin, McClelland, Burton, Logan (Thake 83), Rome, Piggott, O'Brien, Gaffney (Gould 77).
Subs (not used): Joy, Gill, Fitton.
Goal: Piggott 43
HT: Baldock Town 1 Colney Heath 0
Referee: Conor Griffin (Ealing)