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Yate Town 2 Hitchin Town 5

Saturday, December 23 2006

If anyone doubted Hitchin’s title credentials, then this game would have removed any questions about the sustainability of their challenge. The Canaries outclassed their hosts with a brand of attacking football that left Yate crestfallen inside 25 minutes.

Darren Salton’s vibrant team has come of age in the past two weeks, picking up 10 points and they are now within sight of the summit. A good Christmas could see them hit the top of the table and the way Hitchin are playing suggests they may well remain there or thereabouts for the rest of the campaign.

Although Chris Dillon is stealing the headlines, there are other players who have become pivotal figures over the past few weeks. David Deeney, Rob Miller and Liam Folds all deserve special mention, but Salton will have anyone believe that everyone is playing their part in Hitchin’s rise to the top.

Dillon netted a hat-trick to become the BGB Southern Premier leading scorer with 12 goals in 14 league games this season. The Scottish forward has added guile and savvy to the Hitchin forward line and his finishing has been stunning. The prospect of a fully fit Josh Sozzo and Dillon linking up in the next few weeks is an appetising one for Salton and Hitchin’s fans.

It was Dillon that opened the scoring after 11 minutes, racing on to a Miller through ball and rounding the goalkeeper to slot into the net. Folds made it 2-0 after 19 minutes, lashing the ball home following a corner. Two minutes later, Dillon scored again, breaking free before shooting home from just inside the area.
Yate were stunned, but there was more to come from the ebullient Dillon, who ran on to Deeney’s pass and shot into the net from 10 yards.

Yate, to their credit came out in a determined mood in the second half, and Jason Wood reduced the arrears after 50 minutes. Hitchin recovered from their lack lustre start to the half, and on 65 minutes, Gavin Jaggard fired in their fifth goal, a low shot that gave goalkeeper Tony Court no chance.

The home side grabbed a consolation goal in the 89th minute from Mike Wyatt, a simple effort after the Hitchin defence had been split. "We can’t keep clean sheets," bemoaned the travelling fans, but quite frankly, with goals coming in from all angles - Hitchin are averaging more than two a game- the defence can afford to be generous.

The second half of the season promises to be very exciting for Hitchin, who on this form appear to have their best team in more than a decade.

Yate: Court, Brice, Elsey, Jenkins, Jefferies, Sims, Blakemore (Havard 65), Chenoweth, Phillips (Clarke 78), Williams (Wyatt 42)

Hitchin: Beckwith, Frater, Ducket, Hammonds, Folds, Deeney, Jaggard, Miller, Dillon, Sozzo (Orphanou 78), French (Mills 60)

Attendance: 208

Referee: N.Radford

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