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FPM Facilities Services Ltd - 35-37 Hastings Street, Luton, LU1 5BE. Tel: 01582 484020

MasterCars - Quality New, Nearly New & Used Vehicles in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. 1-2 Bunyan Rd, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1NL. Phone 01462 457645

Consilium Financial Planning - 18-19 Woodside House, Walsworth Rd, Hitchin SG4 9SP. Phone: 01462 421775

IDNet - Leased Lines, Broadband & Telecoms - IDNet Studio. Bridge House, 30A Bridge Street, Hitchin. Herts SG5 2DF. Tel: +44 (0) 1462 659 350.

From windows to conservatories, Barry Bolton Windows is the local specialist for Beds, Bucks & Herts. From our free quotes to our high quality service, backed by our 10 year insurance warranty, we've got what you need. Tel: 01582 484 600

Swinton Insurance - 16 Brand Street, Hitchin. Phone: 01462 436253

Ridgeons Timber & Builders Merchants - Hitchin Branch

At lionshome.co.uk, you can conveniently find new design ideas for your home, inspirations for garden design, DIY ideas and much more.

Specialists in SAP Data & Document Archiving

Screenbond - Manufacturers of  PCB's

More than just transport ...

Peak Fitness Gym

Richard Taylor Travel - Coach suppliers to Hitchin Town FC.

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Old guard are driving Hitchin forward

Sunday, October 24 2004

The part played by experienced players like Richard Wilmot, Mark Smith and Darran Hay has been one of the reasons behind Hitchin’s revival in recent weeks.

Manager Kerry Dixon has repeatedly said that if the Canaries can field their first choice eleven, they can compete in the top half. Dixon’s team has been inconsistent this season, but they have also bounced back well from setbacks. And as if to underline Dixon’s point, confidence and good results have come as players like Gavin Jaggard, Darran Hay, Paul Covington and Josh Sozzo have returned to action. Hay, in particular, has helped to get Sozzo back in scoring action.

Hay (below) is a pivotal figure in what many see as an exceptional team spirit at the club. His reactions at Beaconsfield when his team-mates were losing an important FA Cup tie, startled Hitchin fans who saw a player who, despite having achieved plenty in his playing career, was desperate to win. His two goals at Tiverton emphasised that he is back to optimal fitness.

Richard Wilmot (below), who joked before the game in Devon that he had saved just one penalty for Hitchin, kept his side in the lead at Tiverton and created one of Hay’s goals. He too is enjoying an Indian Summer although arguably a goalkeepers summer is further along the life-cycle than an outfield player.

But the big difference in recent weeks for Hitchin has been the signing of Mark Smith, who has been a revelation. Typically laid-back, Smith has added expertise and experience into the heart of Hitchin’s defence.

All three have done much to promote the strong team-spirit in Hitchin’s squad this season. They have also played for some of the best managers in non-league football - men such as Paul Fairclough, Geoff Chapple, John McGovern, Garry Hill and Graham Roberts. On the evidence of their collective performance at Tiverton, there’s plenty of football still to be played by Wilmot, Hay and Smith.

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