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Chippenham Town 2 Hitchin Town 2

Saturday, March 11 2006

Hitchin warmed up for their Errea Cup semi-final with Bedford with a well earned point at promotion chasing Chippenham Town.

The Canaries were 17 minutes away from being only the second team to win at Hardenhuish Park in the league, but in truth, the result was a fair one and the home side could claim that they had the chances to win.

But Hitchin will be pleased with this point and the way that came back from conceding an early goal. Chippenham started the game well and could have scored in the opening minute. It was no surprise when Sam Allison have them the lead in the 13th minute, stroking the ball into the net after Dave Gilroy rolled the ball across the face of goal.

Hitchin levelled against the run of play in the 25th minute. Daniel French crossed and Thomas Hayes mis-hit the ball into net from six yards. Hitchin now started to get on top and in the 38th minute, took the lead, Josh Sozzo threading the ball into the net after a defensive slip-up.

Hitchin could have extended their lead just after the break, but goalkeeper Steve Perrin denied Hayes. From thereon, Chippenham had the upper hand and Richard        
Wilmot, while rarely seriously threatened, had to be at his best for long periods. Liam Folds also came to the rescue, clearing off the line from Gilroy. Defender Gary Thorne went close for the home team, heading over the bar from close range.

In the 73rd minute, Gilroy equalised for Chippenham, sweeping the ball home after the Canaries defence failed to clear their lines.

Almost immediately, Hitchin produced three chances out of the hat. Mark Ducket lobbed goalwards only to see his effort cleared by Gary Thorne, and Sozzo had two chances that were wide or saved by Perrin.

The Canaries hung on and deserved to take a point back to Top Field. As for the home side, they will see this as two points dropped in their pursuit of Conference South football.

Hitchin: Wilmot, Pugh, Okai, Hammonds, Folds, Hicks, French, Cavill (Lamacraft 68), Hayes, Sozzo (Phelan 89), Ducket

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