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Solihull Borough 2 Hitchin Town 0

Sunday, January 16 2005

Hitchin's debut season in the Southern League has been characterized by surprise away wins and shock defeats. Whilst hardly a shock, this game was typical of the Canaries' season. Bottom-placed Solihull deserved the three points, Hitchin merited a zero return from their first trip to the Birmingham suburb.

Once more, Hitchin could point to some less than impressive defending. Both Solihull goals could have been prevented, claimed the management duo of Darren Salton and Ken Gillard.

The Canaries started well, though, with Shane Hill attempting a deft chip and Darran Hay going close with a volley. But six minutes from the interval, Solihull striker Mark Shepherd ran unchallenged for 30 yards before sending the ball over Richard Wilmot for the home side's first goal.

If that wasn't bad enough, Solihull added to their lead almost on the whistle. Scott Voice rolled the ball across the Hitchin area and Dean Peer netted from close range.

In the second half, Hitchin had a succession of corners but failed to test Solihull goalkeeper Mark Gayle. In fact, Solihull continued to torment the Hitchin defence, notably when Mark Faulds ran between two defenders and forced Wilmot to save. Peer also threatened to score with a header that sailed past the post.

Mark Bridge, who was injured in the closing stages, looking very distressed after receiving a knock, had Hitchin's best chance, heading wide from a Julian Old cross. Solihull could have had a third goal three minutes from time, but Glen Lamacraft came to the rescue with a clearance off the line.

Hitchin: Wilmot, Old, Barr (McMenamin 8), Covington, McCulloch (Hassan 70), Baldry (Bridge 58), Cavill, Hill, Hay, Sozzo, Lamacraft



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