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Hitchin Town 1 Aldershot Town 5

Saturday, July 12 2003

Canaries boss Robbie O'Keefe won't have learned much from the performance of his team against highly motivated Aldershot Town in this uncomfortable pre-season friendly.

With the thermometer heading north of 30 degrees, this was not an advertisement for the introduction of summer football. Both teams struggled in the heat, the game punctuated by several drink breaks.

Hitchin were never allowed to get going against the Conference new boys, who looked fitter and sharper. But then, with a big squad split between two games on Saturday, and places up for grabs for their first season at the highest level, who can blame them ?.

O'Keefe and his backroom team will be aware of where Hitchin went wrong, and 11 goals conceded in two games, tells its own story. Conversely, the performance of Matt Nolan, now being eyed by several clubs, was again impressive.

Aldershot went ahead with two goals in the space of two minutes. In the 42nd minute, Aaron McClean's low cross to the far post was swept into the net. McClean served up the second goal two minutes later for Roscoe D'Sane, who ran into the box and slotted the ball past James Robinson.

Sills added Aldershot's third goal in the 52nd minute, scooping the ball over Robinson and then running on to head into the net.

In the 65th minute, the Canaries went four behind, James Ayres bringing down an Aldershot defender and D'Sane netting from the penalty spot. With 16 minute remaining, the visitors made it five, McClean running through and scoring with ease.

It was not until the 88th minute that Hitchin responded, Carl Drew scoring with a characteristic shot from outside the penalty area.

Hitchin Town: Robinson, Maynard (Ayres), Rydeheard (Osborn), Bruce (Evans), Frater (Childs), Duckett, Williams (Yiga), Brennan, Nolan (Drew), Parker (McElroy), Dillon (Douglas)




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