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Rugby Town 4 Hitchin Town 1

Saturday, August 27 2005

Hitchin’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end at Butlin Road, where the Canaries failed to take advantage of the many chances that came their way. Statistics can be misleading, and on this occasion, the 12 corners to 2 in favour of Hitchin proved to be just that. The fact is, Hitchin were in the ascendancy for much of the game, but defensive lapses let them down time and time again.

Rugby clear the danger from a Canaries corner kick.

Rugby gained the initiative thanks to two goals in five first half minutes. Seconds before the home side took the lead, Thomas Hayes missed a good chance. The ball went to the opposite end, a David Stone shot was parried by Richard Wilmot and Kevin Slinn finished off the rebound. Before Hitchin could regain their composure, Rugby scored again, a superb strike by the impressive David Stone.

Daniel French had a chance just before the interval to bring Hitchin back into the game, but it was not long before Rugby extended their lead still further. In the 54th minute, Stone sent a low ball into the penalty area and Scott Cross had a simple task to tap the ball into the net.

But Hitchin did give themselves hope with a spectacular 25-yard effort by Chris McMenamin in the 60th minute which gave goalkeeper Steve Wilson no chance.

James Ayres holds the ball up in the Rugby penalty area.

Glen Lamacraft was gifted a chance when the ball ran through a crowded area but his toe-poke rolled wide of the target. Aaran Cavill also tried to beat Wilson with a lobbed effort and late in the game, he shot into the side-netting. French, who had another effective game on the flank, blasted over in the dying seconds.

Hitchin: Wilmot  Lamacraft, Ducket (Bridge 88), McCulloch, Ayres, McMenamin, Cavill, Mills (Lochhead 63), Sozzo, Hayes, French





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