Baldock Town book their place in the next round of FA Cup with Wembley win
- Credit: DANNY LOO
Baldock Town survived a few worrying moments before booking their passage to the next round of the FA Cup with a win over Wembley.
Tommy Reynolds put them ahead midway through the first half and they were by far the more dominant side in the opening 45 minutes.
But nerves crept in after the break and they struggled to find the same rhythm.
It gave the visitors to New Lamb Meadow plenty of hope but solid defending, and some frantic bits, set up a preliminary round tie with Isthmian League Division One North Grays Athletic.
It was a disappointing opening to their Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division campaign with a 2-0 loss away to Leverstock Green on Tuesday and manager Rob Bates responded by making four changes.
And instantly there were murmurs of contentment from the home fans as Baldock started brightly.
Ashley Hay had a couple of sights of goals as did Alex Coppin but despite some lax defending and wayward passing out from the back, the Reds couldn't find a breakthrough.
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That was until the 20th minute when a poor clearance from the Wembley defence presented Reynolds with the chance and he struck it with purpose and direction, low across Raheem Belgrave and into the far corner.
They still had the upper hand for the remainder of the half too, a Hay header just missing a connection from a team-mate being their best attempt, but too often they rushed things, overhitting long balls instead of taking the simpler route.
It did allow Wembley to show more from an attacking point of view and Cameron Groom in the Baldock goal needing to be on his toes to gather a couple of dangerous crosses and one corner that bounced awkwardly through to him.
And Wembley should have been on level terms within two minutes of the restart.
A ball from the right was delivered low across the six-yard box but Wayne Walters on the stretch could only scoop it over the top.
It did give Wembley a shot of confidence and they visibly started to believe they could get something out of the game.
Groom and the Baldock defence didn't do anything to nip that belief in the bud, taking a less than assertive approach to balls around the box.
But the hosts could have also finished things off twice, both times with Hay coming close.
His header from a Charlie Rome corner drifted inches wide while his attempt to lob an advancing keeper was only prevented from heading to goal by the unfortunate Belgrave's face.
Groom showed his shot-stopping ability with 10 minutes of normal time with a point-blank save and while the offside flag meant it wouldn't have counted anyway, it did give the Reds a shot in the arm at just the right moment.
There were numerous stoppages throughout the contest and it led to seven added minutes at the end of the half.
One final corner saw Wembley's keeper go forward but a superb defensive header from Josh Furness averted the danger and the whistle sounded moments later.
Baldock Town: Groom, Decker, Franklin, Coppin, Furness, Warman, Reynolds, White (Trott 75), Hay, Rome (Rowland 88), Reed (Balogun 70).
Subs (not used): Brooker, Harper, Skinner.
Goal: Reynolds 20
Booked: White 45+1, Warman 80, Furness 90+6
Wembley: Belgrave, Tyrer, Ejimfor, Walters (Payne 72), Bates, Larrington, Heron (Jones 90+4), Addae, Khan (Sabti 78), Fehmi-Gill, Osborne.
Subs (not used): Emovon, Osman, Bernard, Zavagno.
HT: Baldock Town 1 Wembley 0