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Halesowen Town 2 Hitchin Town 2

Saturday, November 18 2006

The comeback boys did it again on Saturday with an 87th minute goal earning the Canaries their fourth point from two games on the road.

This Hitchin Town side is earning a reputation for its “never-say-die” attitude – nine of their 13 games have seen them come from behind to earn points and in eight of them they have conceded the first goal.

The game at Halesowen was one of the best of the season, full of good attacking football from both sides. Given that each team had its purple patch, a draw was a fair result.

Hitchin started well, however and took a third minute lead. Daniel French pierced the Halesowen defence with a pass into the six yard area and Mark Bridge swept the ball into the net.

The goal was the prelude to a period of concerted pressure during which Hitchin could have built up an impressive lead. Chris Dillon just missed connecting with another French cross and then saw his shot saved by goalkeeper Dan Woodhall.

Halesowen gradually took control and chances by Simon Forsdick went close to levelling. Rob Beckwith had to be at his best to tip an effort from Matt Lewis round the post.

But Hitchin could have extended their lead in the 40th minute when Bridge met yet another ball by French but headed past the post.

It was not surprise, however, when Halesowen equalised, Alex Cowley stepping around Mark Ducket and Beckwith before slotting the ball into the net right on half time.

Hitchin should have regained the lead in the first minute of the second half, Dillon missing a chance that he would have normally buried. The Canaries were made to pay for their generosity in the 61st minute when Halesowen took the lead.

Beckwith did well to stop a shot from Chris Brindley, but as the ball rebounded, Cowley forced it home from six yards.

Hitchin regained the initiative in the last 20 minutes of the game, and Mark Bridge went close to equalising. For all the Canaries’ pressure, it was not until the 87th minute that Dillon levelled, sending a low shot just inside the post after being set up by Scott Orphanou.

Halesowen: Woodhall, Warner, Haywood, Pierpoint, Knight, Williams, Cowley, Lewis, Brindley, Forsdick

Hitchin: Beckwith, Pugh (Orphanou 82), Ducket, Frater, Folds, Deeney, Williams, Miller, Dillon, Bridge, French

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