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Grantham Town 1 Hitchin Town 1

Tuesday, August 23 2005

The Canaries put on their best performance of the season in earning a draw at Grantham, but should have come away from the South Kesteven Sports Centre with a win.

If Hitchin had not conceded their fourth penalty of the season, Darren Salton’s men could have been joint top of the table. As it stands, unbeaten in the first four games represents an excellent start for Hitchin.

Salton must be highly satisfied with the first four games, and especially with the performance of his new signing Daniel French. The diminutive wide man was once more man of the match and tormented Grantham on the flank.

When Grantham scored on 10 minutes from penalty spot, it was against the run of play. But a handball in the area gave Fabian Smith the chance to put the home side ahead and he did so with ease.

Hitchin had the better of the first half but it was not until the 34th minute that a Thomas Hayes effort worried the Grantham defence. The Canaries continued to dominate after the interval, however, and James Ayres saw an early header sail over the bar.
Grantham goalkeeper Mario Ziccardi pulled off a flying save from a Mark Ducket and a shot by Glen Lamacraft was just too high. Hayes also went close when he met a throughball by Aaran Cavill and tried to lob Ziccardi, but that effort was way clear of the target. French also tested Ziccardi with a volley that was palmed away for a corner.

With 12 minutes to go, Hitchin equalised with a goal that could be considered to be fortunate. A corner from Chris McMenamin rebounded off a defender and struck Lee McCulloch and rebounded into the net – lucky, yes, but no more than the Canaries deserved.

Hitchin went on to try and win the game, and Ayres and Jonathan Mills both went close, while Grantham almost grabbed a last-ditch winner from Martin Carruthers.

“That was an excellent performance, but we should have had all three points, commented Darren Salton.

Hitchin: Wilmot, Lamacraft, Ducket, McCulloch, Ayres, McMenamin, Cavill, Mills, Sozzo, Hayes, French


 



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