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Hitchin Town 3 Stamford 1

Tuesday, November 7 2006

Hitchin jumped to third place in the BGB Premier division with a comprehensive victory against Stamford.

The Canaries have not been so high in the Southern League since they joined it in 2004. With two consecutive wins, they have pushed aside the disappointment of FA Cup and FA Trophy exits and returned to their early season form.

Darren Salton could not have asked for a better start. Rob Miller’s cross was headed home by Gavin Jaggard after just 45 seconds to give Hitchin the lead.

Hitchin were on top for much of the first half, with Miller, Carl Williams and Ryan Frater all going close to scoring. Stamford offered little in the way of threat, but this was largely due to the performance of the likes of Frater, who is looking stronger and more effective by the week.

The Canaries added to their lead in the 41st minute. Defender Martin Matthews, who had a torrid evening, stood on the ball and Josh Sozzo swept it into the net from just inside the penalty area.

Stamford came more into the game after the interval with Kevin Childs shooting wide and then Garteh Pritchard struck the crossbar with a chipped shot. The ball fell to Stuart Wilson whose point-blank header was bravely saved by Rob Beckwith.

In the 63rd minute, Daniel French’s cross was handled by the hapless Matthews and from the penalty spot, Deeney rattled the woodwork. Seven minutes later, Deeney made amends when he blasted home Hitchin’s third goal after being set-up by French.

From this point on, Hitchin seemed to lose momentum, and Stamford pulled a goal back after 75 minutes, Luke Kennedy steering the ball home after good work by Martin Wormall.

Wormall went close to scoring himself when Beckwith pulled off a superb save, and Chris Pendleton made a goal-line clearance when danger threatened.

Eleven minutes from time, Hitchin fans were treated to the long-awaited debut of Grant Carney, signed in the summer but unable to play through injury.

Hitchin: Beckwith, Pugh, Pendleton, Frater, Folds, Deeney (Lamacraft 79), Williams, Miller, Jaggard (Carney 79), Sozzo (Bridge 88), French

Stamford: Pledger, Taylor, Julian, Matthews, Marshall, Childs (Kennedy 65), Wilson, Harris, Pritchard (Miller 73), Wormall, Turner (O’Dea 65)

Referee: B.O’Sullivan

Attendance: 287

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