Baldock Town: The club that refused to die – with Reds on the rise ahead of their FA Cup tie with Romford

PUBLISHED: 11:50 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:41 20 August 2018

Baldock Town FC. Credit Baldock Town Twitter @baldocktownfc

Baldock Town FC. Credit Baldock Town Twitter @baldocktownfc

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Baldock Town are a club on the rise after a hugely successful season under the astute guidance of manager Luke Gregson – and they’ve had a good week ahead of their trip to East Thurrock’s Rookery Hill to play Romford in the FA Cup preliminary round on Sunday. Read Layth Yousif’s profile piece on the club that refused to die.

Gregson for Baldock. Picture: KEVIN LINESGregson for Baldock. Picture: KEVIN LINES

Gregson’s side beat Wembley 2-1 in their Spartan South Midlands Premier Division, showing character to come back from 1-0 down on Saturday.

Goals from Liam Kenna and Kim Forsythe sealed their first league win of the season to move up to 14th place in the table.

The victory came after they beat Ipswich Wanderers 5-0 in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup earlier this month.

The highly-rated Gregson and his team earned plaudits for the quality of their play during the 2017-18 season and hope the victory against Wembley will kick-start their league campaing in Step Five.

Hitchin Town 1-1 Baldock. CREDIT PETER ELSEHitchin Town 1-1 Baldock. CREDIT PETER ELSE

Not content with lifting the Senior Centenary Trophy the Reds made it a year to remember by also clinching promotion from Division One of the Spartans South Midlands League – with the deserved elevation seeing the Red Army compete at New Lamb Meadow, a ground they share with landlords Arlesey Town.

They can also look forward to the mouth-watering prospect of derbies against Arlesey, as well as Biggleswade United – who boast Sky Sports’ Guillem Balague as director of football.

Speaking to CometSport Gregson said: “We’ve got a great set of lads here. I’m so proud of them and their efforts last year in winning promotion.

“We’re all really looking forward to the new season. We’re like a family here and we can’t wait for August to come around.

Hitchin Town 1-1 Baldock. CREDIT PETER ELSEHitchin Town 1-1 Baldock. CREDIT PETER ELSE

“I like my teams to play football. I’ve said to my players don’t worry if you make mistakes trying to play it on the deck, I’ll take responsibility for that as that’s what I’m asking them to do.

“It’s far easier to lump it long than to try and play football - but in the long term I firmly believe you’ll win far more games playing the game like that than opting for a more direct style.

“I’d never given a rollicking to any player of mine who’s made a mistake trying to play football – in fact quite the opposite, I’ve handed it out when a player hasn’t tried to play it out.”

Such an attitude is admirable and worthy of respect – as is Gregson’s genuine passion when it comes to his club.

Hitchin Town 1-1 Baldock. CREDIT PETER ELSEHitchin Town 1-1 Baldock. CREDIT PETER ELSE

The likeable boss is very much a local lad, having attended Knight’s Templar School and played for Baldock in their previous form – after the current club were formed in 2003 from the ashes of the original side that dated back to 1905 but sadly folded in 2001.

The original club played at Bakers Close in Baldock until 1981, when they moved to the Norton Road ground.

Due to bitter wrangling amid the legal minefields of judicial reviews they say they were forced out of their corner of valuable real estate.

The move precipitated what many thought was the end of the club, leaving fans to rue the loss of their beloved team, their place in the league and their home.

Hitchin Town 1-1 Baldock. CREDIT PETER ELSEHitchin Town 1-1 Baldock. CREDIT PETER ELSE

But they refused to die – and through the loyal efforts of people such as Luke and the team around him – the Reds can now look forward to the forthcoming season with confidence, as he added: “We’re a team here. We all stick together.”

With such impressive sentiments no wonder they are bullish about their prospects as they prepare to take on Romford in the FA Cup on Saturday, who are a step above in the Bostick League North.

*The club have signed former Biggleswade United midfielder Charlie Joy from Welywn Garden City.

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