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Grantham Town 2 Hitchin Town 1

Tuesday, January 4 2005

Somewhere in the gloom, 22 Lowryesque figures played out a football match which apparently Hitchin lost by two goals to one.

Apart from those in the 413 crowd sitting in the grandstand, there couldn't have been many who witnessed the game at close quarters. Grantham's well appointed and extremely functional sports centre may be ideal for athletics, but as a football venue, it is far from ideal.

On the pitch, there could be no excuses, however, for those with good eyesight would have seen Hitchin outplayed for 45 minutes but still retain a chance of a point in the closing stages.

Grantham raced into a two-goal lead inside 12 minutes. The first, after seven minutes, came after Richard Wilmot parried Jason Turner's effort to Jim Neil who headed into the net. Five minutes later, a superb cross by Richard Weale was headed home at the near post by Neil.

Grantham could have buried Hitchin in a one-sided first half. Stuart Reddington and Turner both missed open goals and Turner stung the woodwork with a piledriver of a volley. But three minutes before the interval, Covington slid home Hitchin's only goal of the game from a well-flighted free kick by Aaron Cavill.

The second half was a tame affair by comparison with Josh Sozzo having two chances to level the scores, but the fast-moving Grantham side always looked a threat up front. Turner almost added a third for the home side but Glen Lamacraft cleared off the line.

Hitchin: Wilmot, Old, Barr (Lamacraft h/t), Covington, Smith (McCulloch h/t), Baldry, Evans (Potter 71), Cavill, Sozzo, Bridge, Hassan



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