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Bishops Stortford 3 Hitchin Town 0

Saturday, December 27 2003

The Canaries continued their recent dismal form and were comfortably beaten at fellow strugglers Bishop’s Stortford, underlining Kerry Dixon’s comments that improving Hitchin’s current plight may take time.

With Parker, Dillon and now Drew all departing Top Field in recent weeks, and rumours of more to follow, Hitchin’s team is starting to look decidedly threadbare. No one could fault the effort of the players left behind by the mass exodus, but the squad now resembles a Ryman Division One outfit.

At Stortford, the home side cantered to victory with three second half goals. The first period was largely even, with Richard Wilmot pulling off some good saves and Hitchin’s Mark Coulson striking the top of the woodwork with a cross-cum-shot.

Four minutes into the restart, Stortford went ahead with a textbook header from centre forward Steven Morison, who was unmarked as he met Richard Howell’s cross.

Mark Bridge almost levelled when he headed over goalkeeper Micky Desborough but saw his effort cleared off the line. Bridge also had a first-time shot that was deflected wide by Desborough.

But Stortford added to their lead in the 75th minute, when a mix-up between James Ayres and Wilmot allowed Morison the simple task of tapping the ball into the net.

In stoppage time, Hitchin’s defence opened up once more as Dave Rainford drilled home a shot from outside the penalty area to score Stortford’s third goal.

There was one happy note from the Canaries cheerless Christmas - defender Jon Bone made his 700th appearance for the club at Bishop’s Stortford.

Hitchin: Wilmot, Bone, Hutton (Rydeheard h/t), Frater, Ayres, Mills (Nichol 83), Williams, Maynard, Phelan, Bridge, Coulson



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