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Bath City 4 Hitchin Town 0

Saturday, October 9 2004

Hitchin crashed to defeat in the Roman city of Bath on Friday night although the scoreline flattered the home side.

The turning point of the game was a 23rd minute sending off and penalty that gave Bath the edge in the opening stages and the Canaries never truly recovered from that setback. Until then, and indeed after the first goal, Hitchin played some good football and could have dragged themselves back into the game.

Before Bath went ahead, Hitchin could have taken the lead when Chris McMenamin's free kick took a deflection but Bath goalkeeper Paul Evans reacted well to pull off a fine save.
But within seconds, Partidge broke away and James Kidd upended him in the penalty area. The spot-kick was duly despatched by Partridge and Kidd was shown the red card.

Josh Sozzo had a good opportunity to fire Hitchin level as he raced onto a long ball, but the ball wouldn't come down for him and by the time he got his shot in, Evans was there to block it. Sozzo had another good run and shot just after the break but at the moment, the Canaries striker is not having any luck in front of goal.

In the 59th minute, Bath added to their lead, a cross to the far post by Benefield was met by the head of John Williams and his tame effort rolled over the goalline. And in the 75th minute, Partridge's cross from the by-line was parried by Wilmot but the ball was immediately headed in by Jimmy Benefield. For a while, Hitchin were all at sea, and in the 78th minute, Scott Tweddle, who had been on the pitch only seconds, outpaced Paul Covington and slid the ball around Wilmot for Bath's fourth goal.

Manager Kerry Dixon felt that Bath were the best side he had seen this season and couldn't fault the effort of his team. He said: "To lose by four goals was rough justice and the penalty and sending off really killed us."

Hitchin: Wilmot, Barr, Kidd, Smith (Hay h/t), McCulloch, Scott (Potter 78), Sozzo, Covington, Bridge, McMenamin (Hassan 75), Cavill



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