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Hitchin Town 1 Halesowen Town 0

Saturday, April 28 2007

Hitchin ended their season on a high note and killed off Halesowen's play-off hopes in a tense encounter at Top Field. A goal by substitute Adam Cunnington, eight minutes from time, settled the game and gave Hitchin their fourth win in their final five games of the season.

Halesowen dominated the first period but failed to make the breakthrough. In the early stages, a mis-kick by Hitchin goalkeeper Michael Parkin presented Paul Devlin with a chance but Lance Gentle-King cleared the danger. Full back Adam Scanlon also had to come to Hitchin's rescue, heading off the line from Nick Amos's effort. Parkin then had to pull off a save from Simon Forsdick, who looked odds-on to score as he raced through.

Hitchin’s best first half chances fell to Mark Ducket, who chipped just over the bar, and Martin Standen, who shot into the side netting.

Adam Cunnington and Mark Ducket in action

At the start of the second half, Parkin saved Hitchin again  when he stopped a drive from Jermaine Palmer and then blocked Junior Brown as he ran into the penalty area. Shortly afterwards, a poor clearance from Parkin let in Forsdick who returned the ball onto the roof of the Hitchin net.

Hitchin's only notable chance before their goal was a header from Standen that sailed just over the cross bar. Eight minutes from time came the killer blow from the Canaries. Cunnington received a pass from Ducket, headed the ball down and sent a low drive past Halesowen goalkeeper James Dormand.

The victory pushed Hitchin into 11th place, their best final position since joining the Southern League.

Hitchin: Parkin, Deeney, A.Scanlon, Gentle-King, Frater, Lamacraft, Charles (Orphanou 48), Stevenson, Standen (Cunnington 80), Jaggard, Ducket

Halesowen: Dormand, Warner, Hamilton (Farrell 76), Williams, Knight, Pierpoint, Sheldon (Cowley 53), Amos, Devlin, Palmer (Brown 62), Forsdick

Attendance: 454

Referee: W.Porter

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