Baston stalwart enjoys victory in his 200th appearance

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This Saturday saw Ben Hudson, who started life at Baston in their very first season back in 2005, reach 200 appearances for the club.

Hudson has played in a number of positions, his most successful season for the club coming when his goals fired the club to their first major cup triumph back in 2009/10.

He has captained the club on a number of occasions most notably during their first season in the PDFL, captaining the side to promotion via runners-up spot in the PDFL Division Four.

In reaching 200 games Hudson has played in more than 70 per cent of Baston FC’s competitive games and still remains third on the all time top goalscorers list.

Not bad for a player whose best position is thought of by many as centre back.

Hudson marked his landmark appearance with victory, featuring off the bench in the first team’s 3-0 victory over Oundle Town in the PDFL Division One.

It was the Goats second win in a row and a second clean sheet to boot. Five wins from the last six games have comprehensively seen their pre-Christmas slump banished.

A second game at their new home in Deeping brought about a first win as Baston acclimatise to their new surroundings.

Heavy rain during the week had made parts of the pitch heavy going but it did not seem to upset the Goats’ rhythm as they got off to a great start, Danny Pick wasting a good chance when though on goal. Chances came and went for the home side without anyone able to capitalise on them. Oundle Town’s game plan was fairly straight forward and out of the Sam Allardyce manual, ‘Hit them Hard and Hit it Long’ was the obvious ploy with no one willing to put their foot on the ball and control the game for them.

Baston coped comfortably with the tactics with Dan Flood and Michael Almen dropping off and heading clear anything that came their way.

The only threat was the dropping second ball that Baston were slow to react to. After some nice inter play between Greg Rawlinson, Aaron Mourton and Matt Medler, Pick was sent through one-on-one with the keeper only to see his effort come back off the bar and out to relative safety.

The last chance of the half fell to Medler who had the option of a square pass to Troy Waters but chose to go alone and he was cramped for room by the Oundle defence and the threat was snuffed out to end the half.

Baston came out in the second half with real purpose and almost immediately took the lead after a breakaway down the right by Rawlinson, the cross into the box was poked goalwards by Waters but just drifted wide. Clearly the half-time team talk had included instructions for the home side’s midfield to be alive to the second ball, it worked and Baston took the lead through it.

A long ball was thrown into the Baston half, headed away by Almen the ball fell in the centre circle and was picked up by Mourton who passed to Rawlinson, he was felled by an overzealous opponent and awarded a free kick.

Mourton took the kick and picked out the captain Flood who flicked a deft header beyond the keeper and into the bottom right corner. Now fully in control of the game Baston went in search for goals, safe in the knowledge that their mean defences wouldn’t be breached.

A second did arrive and it was Flood’s centre back partner that got it. A corner from the left was put towards the back post and after a small scramble the ball was poked home by Almen, his first for the club since signing in early November last year. A third and potentially game ending goal looked likely and it came when Rawlinson was sent through all on his own, he coolly side stepped the ‘keeper before placing a fine finish from an acute angle into the bottom left corner. A fine goal to wrap up a perfectly fine performance from the Goats.

Assistant manager Ciaran Reynolds said: “This was a great performance, one where we never looked troubled. The lads came off at half-time a little disgruntled that we weren’t in front.

“We tweaked a few things and just told them to keep calm and the goals would come, inevitably leading to the three points. We can take a lot of confidence from this going forward as we appear to have found a formula that suits us.”

Baston Reserves were beaten 2-1 by Glinton in the PDFL Division Three.