LITTLE Oakley beat Baldock Town 3-1 in a thrilling match to progress to the FA Cup preliminary round, writes LARRY DOBKIN.

The Acorns claimed victory in a tie where two teams showed fight, passion, and skill in an end-to-end game.

The win demonstrates the good work done by boss James Good and his management team getting quality players into the Oakley set-up.

Both sides started brightly, with Oakley mounting early attacks but not causing keeper David Archer any real problems.

Oakley went ahead only seven minutes.

Harman's throw found Mann who beat a defender and whipped a cross into the box where Oliver Travell took one touch before placing the ball to the side of the keeper.

Baldock were spurred on the setback and a smart move through the middle of the park found Harry Dollimore, whose snap-shot forced Josh Flower into a fine save.

The visitors were getting on top and a speculative shot from Charlie Joy went marginally past the post.

In this end-to-end game, Oakley went close when Harman's over-hit free-kick bounced in front of the keeper on the wet surface, forcing him tip the ball over the bar.

Just before the break, Jamie Snares found himself in space outside the Oakley area while running into the box and he coolly placed the ball under Fowler to make the score level.

The second half started the same as the first period, with both teams attacking.

Oakley gained a corner which floated into the box and found Wood, who got above the Baldock defence before producing a powerful header which went wide of the post.

The Acorns restored their lead when Travell calmly placed the ball past the keeper, after being picked out by Mann.

Oakley continued to attack and Rowe's 35-yard shot was spilled by Archer but his defence cleared the ball out of danger.

Baldock were still in the game and a deep cross had Flowers in trouble, but he managed to push the ball over the bar.

After play had broken down, Baldock instigated a move down the wing where a telling cross had Oakley in trouble.

The ball travelled across the full length of the box without anyone being able to get a meaningful touch on the ball.

A powerful run and cross from Jordi Papple was picked up at full pace by Dan Rowe, who hit a powerful drive just wide.

Oakley were now in control and but for a world class save from Archer, would have been 3-1 up.

However, the Acorns sealed their win when a corner was driven into the box and captain Lewis Wood rose high above the Town defence to power a bullet header past the keeper.

Oakley's player of the match was Nathan Rowe, who did all the dirty work protecting his defence and starting many attacks.