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Team Bath 3 Hitchin Town 0

Sunday, November 7 2004

The only consolation, and a scant one at that, was that this defeat could have been a whole lot more embarrassing than it was for the Canaries. Team Bath completely outplayed Hitchin, sending them out of the FA Trophy at the first hurdle and sending worrying signals back to North Herts.

If Kerry Dixon had been at Twerton Park, he would have been horrified, for Hitchin looked disorganised, devoid of ideas and lacking the fitness of their hosts. Team Bath, supposedly a team of students, were also technically better than the Canaries and in Owen Story, they had the best player on the pitch by far.

Before Story - who must surely be snapped up by a more senior club before too long- put Team Bath ahead after 17 minutes, Mark Reeves had forced Richard Wilmot into two uncomfortable saves. Story shot home inside Wilmotís near post after Neil Saunders threaded the ball through the defence.

Five minutes before the break, Story turned creator, firing the ball across the goalmouth for Reeves to shot into the net from six yards.

It didnít get better after the break, for within five minutes, Reeves had struck the crossbar after Matt Lewis had rounded Wilmot. But for the Hitchin keeper, Team Bath would have had another goal when Stefan Wojciechowski tried to walk the ball into the net but saw his path blocked.

Team Bath hit the woodwork again on the hour when Storyís cross found Matt Townley at the far post and he headed against the crossbar. Then Story sent a blistering shot against an upright after cleverly controlling the ball with his shoulder.

The home side finally scored a third goal eight minutes from time when Wojciechowski stopped to head Saundersí cross past Wilmot. Team Bath continued to torment Hitchin, however, and Saunders curled another shot against Wilmotís crossbar.

The final whistle was blessed relief for Hitchin, who failed to conjur up a shot on target and will scarcely have a more uncomfortable afternoon.

Hitchin: Wilmot, Old (Potter 77), Kidd, Smith, McCulloch (Hassan 64), Baldry (Gibb 84), Cavill, Covington, Hay, Bridge, McMenamin



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