Langford and Baldock keep the heat on league high-fliers

PUBLISHED: 11:58 20 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:59 20 February 2017

Anthony James.

Anthony James.

Danny Loo Photography 2016

The race for promotion in SSML Division One is heating up after both Langford and Baldock Town won at the weekend to keep the pressure on second-place Harpenden Town.

With Harpenden losing 1-0 against lead leaders Biggleswade - a result which puts the division’s top side seven points clear - Langford’s 4-2 success at home to Arlesey Town Reserves has moved them to within six points of second place.

Baldock, meanwhile, thrashed Hadley Wood & Wingate 5-0 thanks in no small part to Anthony James’ hat-trick despite having a man sent off.

At Langford an upset looked on the cards at half-time as the home side trailed 2-1 to the league’s basement team.

Tony Williams scored twice to put Arlesey into the lead before Langford jolted into action, with Dale Turney driving home following a run from Deon Putnam.

Langford’s half-time team talk and reshuffle paid off when in the 47th minute James Potter flicked the ball to Connor Waite who tapped in from eight yards to level the scores.

Although Langford never quite found their good form of late, they gradually pushed Arlesey back and restricted them to long ball breaks.

The Reds’ pressure paid off when an Arlesey defender mis-headed in his own six-yard box, forcing a save from Alfie Hickman who could only push the ball to Jason Penman who thumped the ball in from close range.

It took the home team 76 minutes to get the lead but only two more to increase it and effectively kill the game.

Top scorer Pat Daly, on as a second half substitute, turned provider as he found Stephen Brooks who beat a defender, rounded the keeper and slotted home for Langford’s fourth.

Just down the road at Stotfold FC’s Roker Park Baldock made light work of Hadley Wood.

The Reds took the lead through Owen Robertson and then took control of the game through Josh Furness 10 minutes before the break.

James, who is in competition with Langford’s Daly for the top goalscorer prize in the division, then added three more to his tally for the season as Hadley were put to the sword though Liam Kenna was sent off for the hosts.

James now has 37 league goals for the season while Daly is trailing by four.

Langford’s next match is at home to Kensington Borough on Tuesday followed by Brimsdown away on Saturday.

Following Saturday’s home win Baldock have another four games on home soil in succession beginning with the visit of Hillingdon on Tuesday evening before Southall come to town at the weekend.

Above them in the league the top two sides come together again on Tuesday evening, but this time it is Harpenden who are the hosts.

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