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Chippenham Town 1 Hitchin Town 2

Sunday, November 14 2004

Hitchin’s crazy season took another twist at Chippenham where the Southern League leaders were stunned by two first-half goals that won three deserved points for the Canaries.

Perhaps stung by criticism over the past two weeks, Hitchin put on one of their best performances of the season against one of the league’s pacesetters.

Hitchin manager Kerry Dixon made some changes from the side that lost at Team Bath last week, with Rory Hutton returning and Paul Covington switching to defence. Lee McCulloch, who has been one of the successes of the season, was dropped to the subs bench.

Dixon’s men made a positive start, with a Mark Bridge header that found the net but was ruled out for an infringement and a Hutton shot that was just wide. Then Mark Bridge went close when he hooked a shot over the bar from a long throw-in.

Hitchin’s bright opening continued with an Aaron Cavill shot that was saved by Astley, but Chippenham at last found their shooting boots on the half hour with a shot from Herring that whistled over the bar.

All Hitchin’s good work in the opening stages paid off with two goals in the final eight minutes of the half. Firstly, in the 37th minute, a Chris McMenamin throw-in was headed on by Mark Smith, the ball was only partially cleared and Julian Old crossed to Darran Hay who headed home from close range.

In the 45th minute, Cavill set free Josh Sozzo and his tame shot beat the goalkeeper and found the back of the net despite a defender being parked on the goal-line.

Chippenham dominated the early stages of the second half, but the Hitchin defence was in fine form all afternoon, with Covington and Old both having outstanding games. In the 71st minute, Bridge had a good chance to seal Hitchin’s victory, going one-on-one with the keeper but seeing his shot easily saved.
Five minutes later, Chippenham pulled a goal back with a 30-yard drive by Scott Walker.

Despite pressure from the home side in the closing stages, Hitchin hung on for a morale-boosting win, which should mean that next Saturday’s trip to Team Bath will see the Canaries going all out to avenge their FA Trophy defeat.

Hitchin Town: Wilmot, Old, Kidd, Covington, Smith, Cavill, Sozzo, Bridge (Hassan 81), Hay, McMenamin, Hutton (Potter 59)






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