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Wealdstone 1 Hitchin Town 0

Saturday, November 29 2003

Kerry Dixon’s reign as Hitchin manager got off to a sticky start at Wealdstone as once again, the Canaries underperformed in a vital FA competition tie.

Hitchin were beaten fair and square by Wealdstone and only a string of good saves by goalkeeper Richard Wilmot prevented the Ryman Division One side from winning far more comfortably.

But this was no thrilling FA Trophy tie, full of passion. The first 20 minutes were tame beyond belief, with neither side creating anything worthwhile.

Wealdstone took control on the half hour, with Marvin Morgan denied by a last ditch tackle from James Ayres, and then the tall striker walked through the Hitchin defence only to be blocked by Wilmot. Wealdstone’s vital goal came in the 30th minute, a far post header by Richard Jolly after a good cross by Mark Carter.

Hitchin’s only first half effort came from Ryan Frater, a piledriver of a free kick that whistled past the post. Otherwise, Hitchin failed to take advantage of a home defence that seemed to lack confidence.

The Canaries were better in the opening stages of the second period, with long range efforts from Matt Childs and Chris Dillon suggesting better times ahead. But despite plenty of possession, Hitchin did not test Wealdstone goalkeeper Andy Carter all afternoon.

In fact, Wealdstone finished the stronger side and had to thank Wilmot for preventing a heavier defeat. He denied Jolly twice in the closing stages and then thwarted a breakaway by Ben Alexander in the dying seconds.

Dixon and his management colleagues could not have been pleased with what they saw- for the third time in the last five games, Hitchin struggled to create a single worthwhile chance.

Hitchin: Wilmot, Childs, Rydeheard, Frater, Ayres, Dillon, Williams, Phelan (Mills 83), Drew (Bridge 65), Parker, Maynard

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