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Stamford 2 Hitchin Town 0

Saturday, February 3 2007

For the second time in a week, Hitchin returned home pointless and a red carded player as the Canaries went down to another defeat.

At Stamford, the match officials came in for some severe criticism, but throughout the 90 minutes, Hitchin failed to offer much encouragement to their travelling fans. For the fifth time in six games, Hitchin received a dent to their play-off chances- they are now four points off the top five.

Hitchin will claim that the turning point of the game was in the 13th minute. That was when Chris Dillon raced through and was brought down on the edge of the Stamford penalty area. The referee actually awarded Stamford a free kick, but in the protests, Gavin Jaggard was booked. Seven minutes later, Jaggard received another yellow card after a crude tackle, and was shown the route to the dressing room.

In the 31st minute, Jason Turner received the ball inside the area and turned a defender before shooting Stamford ahead. Turner struck the crossbar just two minutes later as Hitchin started to come under severe pressure.

It was not long before Stamford increased their lead, Stuart Wilson flicking the ball past Beckwith after a deft chip into the area on 36 minutes.

Hitchin came back just before the interval, Liam Folds striking the crossbar with a volley following a corner and David Deeney forcing goalkeeper Chris Sanna to save.

After the break, the Canaries came out in a determined mood, although made little headway. Stamford defender Brad Piercewright was lucky not to follow Jaggard into the dressing room after a cynical foul on Wayne Mills.

Late in the game, Dillon headed over from a good cross by Carl Williams and Ryan Frater cleared off the line in a final flurry.

Interestingly, the referee was escorted off the pitch by home officials, such was the reaction at the final whistle. Although it would be easy to blame poor refereeing, Hitchin must be just as frustrating with their own contribution to another disappointing afternoon.

Stamford: Sanna, White, Julian, Bowater, Piercewright, Matthews, Wilson (Musgrove 75), Marshall, Turner, Wormall (Pritchard 72), Harris (Foster 81)

Hitchin: Beckwith, Childs, Frater, Folds, Jaggard, Deeney, Williams, Lamacraft, Dillon, Mills (Parker 73), Ducket

Referee: T.Maton

Attendance: 332

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