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Hitchin Town 1 Banbury United 2

Saturday, March 17 2007

The alarm bells are really ringing at Hitchin after this latest performance from Darren Salton's bealeagured side.

Banbury, who had not won in nine games and had relegation worries of their own, deservedly beat a Canaries side that rarely got into first gear. The frowns at the end of the game said more than a thousand words - Hitchin are in freefall and if they don’t start picking up some points, relegation may become a reality.

The Canaries may only need half a dozen points, but on the evidence of the last three months, that may be a tall order. Against Banbury, Hitchin failed to trouble veteran goalkeeper Alan Judge and their only goal came from the penalty spot.

The first half was poor by any standards although Gavin Jaggard could have given Hitchin a third minute lead when he volleyed over from close range. New boy Mark Standen sent close with a shot that was comfortably saved by Judge while at the other end, Rob Beckwith pulled off a point blank save from Andy

Banbury took the lead just two minutes into the second half when George Redknap volleyed home at the far post following a corner by Jon Gardner.

Shortly afterwards, Daniel French struck the top of the bar with a cross but in the 56th minute, Banbury extended their lead. A free kick by Darren Pond fell into the area, the Hitchin defence failed to clear the ball and Baird fired into the net from six yards.

Within a minute, however, Hitchin pulled a goal back, Standen being pushed in the back by Banbury defender Wayne Blossom and the same playing scoring from the penalty spot.

Blossom and Gardner both had chances to extend Banbury’s lead, but Hitchin were unable to find a way back - a familiar tale since the turn of the year.

Hitchin: Beckwith, Childs (Gentle-King 9), Ducket, Cretton, Folds (A.Scanlon 62), Deeney, Williams, Frater, Standen, Jaggard, French

Banbury: Judge, Bridges, Kinch, Sullivan (Jackson 44), Blossom, Pond, Stanbridge, Redknap, Forinton, Baird, Gardner

Attendance: 268

Referee: M.Leech

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