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Hitchin Town 2 Gloucester City 2

Saturday, December 16 2006

Hitchin missed out in their bid to go top of the BGB Premier Division, but they could not begrudge Gloucester City the point they clearly deserved.

The Canaries attracted their best home gate of the season, many of whom had come in expectation of Darren Saltonís side hitting the top of the table for the first time since joining the league in 2004.

They got off to a good start, too, when Chris Dillon bravely headed home Carl Williamsís cross in the ninth minute.

But Gloucester equalised after 22 minutes, Alex Sykes tapping the ball into the net after Jamie Reidís shot had hit the post.

Shortly afterwards, the game was held up when Stuart Hammonds and Gloucesterís Jason Welsh collided. Welsh was carried off with a bad head injury.

Hitchin seemed to lose their way in the latter stages of the first half, and it was no surprise when Gloucester took the lead after 43 minutes, Sykes sending a lazy header past Rob Beckwith from a Reid cross.

Hitchin, who have developed the habit of coming from behind this season, did it again in the 53rd minute, Dillon scoring his second after Mark Ducketís cross had fallen to Josh Sozzo and his mis-kick was turned home by the Canaries leading scorer.

Gloucester could have regained the lead on the hour when Sykes sent a free kick - via Beckwithís gloves - onto the crossbar. Hitchin also had their chances, with a long range effort by David Deeney palmed away from danger by Gloucester goalkeeper Matt Bath.

There were a few long faces at the end of the game, but Gloucesterís fast-moving style marked them as one of the best teams to visit Hitchin this season.

Hitchin: Beckwith, Frater, Gentle-King (Ducket 45), Hammonds, Folds, Deeney, Williams, Miller, Dillon, Sozzo (Lamacraft 85), Jaggard (Orphanou 75)

Gloucester: Bath, Thompson, Noakes, Mustoe, Khan (Fowler h/t), Barnes, Sykes (Wilson† 80), Webb, Welsh (Cox 30), Reid, Wilkinson

Referee: C.Wilson

Attendance: 394

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