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

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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

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Hitchin Town 1 St Albans City 0

Saturday, January 10 2004

Dean McElroy scored the first senior goal of his Hitchin career to give the Canaries a morale-boosting victory against fellow strugglers St.Albans City at Top Field.

A hard-fought three points also earned a standing ovation from the Hitchin fans, who had seen their beleaguered team fight for every ball against a St. Albans side packed with experience.

It also meant that Hitchin had completed a league double over the Saints for the first time since 1973-74.

This win meant a lot to the Canaries young team and its management. With the club clearly under-fire in recent weeks, the sheer endeavour won the fans over and provided some much-needed breathing space for Kerry Dixon.

In the first half, however, goalkeeper Richard Wilmot kept the scores level with some good saves, notably from Gary Wraight and Justin Edwards. And just before the interval, Scott Oakes saw his free kick pushed aside by Wilmot.

In the second half, Hitchin came more into the game, particularly in the last 15 minutes. Ryan Frater headed over the crossbar from a corner and Stuart Maynard forced Saints goalkeeper George Clark to pull off a fine save.

The introduction of substitutes McElroy and veteran striker Darran Hay seemed to be just the trick for Dixon. Hay, signed in midweek, showed his experience in shielding the ball and in creating space for his team-mates.

The decisive goal came in the 81st minute, Hutton racing upfield and feeding McElroy, who scored from close range. At the final whistle, the Canaries, fielding possibly the youngest side in their history, were applauded off the pitch - as one player said, "Our season starts today".

Hitchin : Wilmot, Childs, Hutton, Frater, Bone, Evens, Nicholl, Maynard, Bridge, Coulson, Duffy
Subs : Hay, Kean, McElroy, Burke, Mills



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