Fourth game in seven days takes its toll on Codicote
PUBLISHED: 07:57 19 March 2014 | UPDATED: 08:03 19 March 2014
Codicote were beaten 1-0 away to Baldock on Saturday in what was their fourth game in seven days.
The Cod had defeated Risborough Rangers 3-1 and drawn 1-1 with Amersham Town and Southall in midweek prior to the Baldock clash.
Unhappy about the fixture congestion, boss Liam Errington said: “Four games in seven days, especially after the season has been extended, is ridiculous, but the club is immensely proud of the players here today [Saturday], we gave everything on Thursday night and were again unfortunate here, but the dressing room talk was frank, honest and we had a mature discussion about how we defeat teams like Amersham and Baldock if we going to challenge for the title.”
There was not much between Codicote and Baldock in the opening encounters. Codicote looked as though they had taken the lead when skipper Mark Bryant rose at the back post to head the ball back across for Brad Harrison to nod in, but the effort was disallowed.
Undeterred, the visitors, with the threat of Harrison and Leeroy Williams, were creating problems.
Williams twice got beyond the Baldock back four, but the hosts’ keeper smothered the efforts.
The Baldock bench were getting more and more animated with their side and soon they started to get their game going.
One or two half chances fell their way, but nothing that troubled Codicote’s custodian Billy Barnes.
With frustration boiling Codicote were able to apply some pressure as the visitors’ free-kick count rose and although both sides had half chances they couldn’t make the most of them.
Baldock’s manager was unhappy with the first 45 minutes having seen his side come second best.
For the first 15 minutes of the second half the home side started to apply their own spell of pressure, but like Codicote in the first 45 they contained it.
Full-back Bailey Chapman-Hearn impressed at the back and going forward. His link-up play with Harrison and Williams looked like it could provide the visitors with a golden opportunity.
Errington, Joe Tyler and Tom Randall worked extremely hard in Codicote’s midfield.
But as it looked like things were swinging back in Codicote’s favour, Baldock’s counter-attack opened up the visitors’ defence.
A first time ball saw the Baldock striker with only Barnes to beat and a quality finish gave the home side the lead. Things could have gone downhill for the tiring Codicote, but they did not give up trying to get back on level terms.
Errington brought on Leon Gutzmore and Paul Donnelly.
Gutzmore gave Codicote a different option in attack with the player able to hold the ball up for the pace of Williams and Harrison.
The final 15 minutes was all Codicote. Tired legs or not they searched for an equaliser and when Williams’ first-time volley thundered towards the goal the ball cannoned off the Baldock defender on the line and on to the crossbar.
Codicote’s confidence was rising as they pushed more men forward, with skipper Bryant and Errington joining the forward line.
But this was not to be their day as they could not force home an equaliser.