A strong Hitchin side were able to ease past Baldock Town in this early morning encounter.
The 10am start appeared to impact Baldock more than Hitchin and a number of Hitchin players – Zac Decker, James Budden, Elijah McDonald, Kyan Mitchell and Jack Mace – had to don red opposition shirts. The Canaries started with a strong line-up with Jay Dowie, Charlie Smith, Dan Webb and Josh Bickerstaff in front of Michael Johnson. Kieran McCaffrey and Lucas Kirkpatrick occupied the centre of midfield with Trey Charles and Jack Green out wide and Connor Vincent and Liam Brooks up front.
In another game divided into three 30 minute periods, Vincent came closest for the Canaries as he turned a low Kirkpatrick cross just wide, while Zac Decker sent in two efforts at the other end. Hitchin moved into the lead on 15 minutes with a well worked goal. A neat pass from Kirkpatrick beat the defence to find Green on the right flank and the new signing chipped Farmer in the Baldock goal.
Trey Charles tried his luck with a couple of shots but after the second received a knock on the ankle and played no further part, being replaced by Reynaldo Carbon.
Half hour – Baldock Town 0 Hitchin Town 1
Mark Burke rang the changes for the second period with the Canaries lining up with Johnson, Rolfe, Webb, Bickerstaff, Barnes, Callum Donnelly, Dowie, Green, Carbon, Bailey and Brett Donnelly. Green and Dowie both had efforts on goal while McDonald had one shot for Baldock.
The period had nearly ended when Hitchin exposed the Baldock defence with Brett Donnelly and Bailey both through on goal, and the former slotted home from close range to double the lead.
Sixty minutes – Baldock Town 0 Hitchin Town 2
Another goal followed early in the third period as the Canaries won a free kick midway into the Baldock half. Smith’s delivery was met by the head of Webb as the skipper got round his marker.
While Hitchin made further rolling substitutions, Decker continued to try his luck for Baldock and brought out a good save from Johnson. The keeper was also forced into a save from Owen Robertson.
Hitchin strived to extend their lead and Carbon forced a save from Farmer, who also did well to keep out Dowie after a neat move involving Brett Donnelly and Carbon. Farmer also parried a Kirkpatrick shot and Bailey should have converted the rebound but fired wide.
The scoring was wrapped up just before the final whistle as Carbon received the ball in the box and held off the defence before finding an angle for a shot which took a deflection as it crossed the line.
The Canaries’ pre-season takes them to Eynesbury on Monday and the showpiece against the Arsenal youngsters before two possibly more accurate tests against Wealdstone and away to Arlesey.
Full time – Baldock Town 0 Hitchin Town 4
Baldock Town – Farmer, Pitcairn, Furness, Gilbert, Budden, Stephen Brooks, Barker, Gregson, Holland, Foley, Decker; subs – Robertson, Mitchell, Morris, Mace, Coppin, McDonald
Hitchin Town – Johnson, Dowie, Smith, McCaffrey, Webb, Bickerstaff, Charles, Kirkpatrick, Vincent, Liam Brooks, Green; subs (all used) – Brett Donnelly, Bailey, Callum Donnelly, Rolfe, Barnes, Carbon
Hitchin Town – Green (15), Brett Donnelly (57), Webb (63), Carbon (90)