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Hitchin Town 0 Kings Lynn 1

Tuesday, August 22 2006

Played two, lost two but Hitchin’s spirit remains intact after this unfortunate defeat at the hands of promotion favourites Kings Lynn.

This was one of the best performances at home by the Canaries in a long time. In particular, Chris Dillon demonstrated just why so many clubs would like to have him in their forward line. Dillon had a number of chances to put Hitchin ahead and on another night, would have surely opened his account for the season.

Kings Lynn’s fans walked away from Top Field fully aware that “Lady Luck” had smiled on them. Hitchin dominated the second half of a thoroughly captivating  90 minutes that proved you don’t always need goals to be entertained.

The Linnets, still smarting from their opening day defeat, made a number of changes to their starting line-up. Among the casualties was former Hitchin striker Matt Nolan, who didn’t get a glimpse of the action all night.

The first period was fairly even, but Hitchin had the best chances, with two early David Deeney efforts and a Daniel French shot that curled over the bar. Kings Lynn’s Frazer Toms forced Hitchin goalkeeper Michael Parkin into a good save, and only a tackle by Neil Pugh prevented Adam Smith from giving the visitors’ the lead.

Wayne Mills, who had another tireless 90 minutes, set up Dillon, but his shot rolled just wide, and just before the break, the two players reversed roles as Mills went agonisingly close.

Chance after chance came Hitchin’s way in the second half. A Mills cross was headed over by Dillon and then the Canaries centre forward was denied by Kings Lynn goalkeeper Shaun Marshall. French robbed the red-topped Grant Cooper and pushed the ball across goal but Pugh just failed to connect.

Kings Lynn came more into the game in the last 20 minutes. Jack Defty volleyed just over the crossbar and substitute Sam McMahon saw his shot saved by Parkin. Defty had a “goal” ruled out for offside and in many ways this was a warning for the Canaries.

It was Defty who netted the winner six minutes from time, running into the area, rounding Parkin and shooting into the net. It was a cruel blow for Hitchin, but in the dying embers of the game, Pugh still had time to see his shot miraculously cleared off the line. A point would have been fair, a win even more appropriate.

Hitchin Town: Parkin, Cretton (J.Taylor 49), Ducket, Hammonds, Folds, Deeney, Pugh, Ross (Lamacraft 85), Dillon, Mills (Bridge 85), French

Kings Lynn: Marshall, West, Smith, Warren, Camm, Cooper, J.Defty, Carey, Frew (Atkins 62), Kennedy (McMahon 77), Toms

Referee: M.Blackledge

Attendance: 314

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