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Hitchin Town 4 Yate Town 2

Saturday, April 14 2007

Jon Stevenson, Hitchin's recent signing from Enfield, became the club's saviour with a hat-trick as the Canaries all but secured their Premier Division status for next season.

Stevenson, one of an influx of relatively untried players introduced by manager Darren Salton in the past month, scored three goals in the second half as Hitchin scored more than one goal in a game since December.

The last time Hitchin fans could celebrate more than a single goal in a game was, ironically, against Yate Town. And coincidentally, a hat-trick was scored on that occasion. It may be the most important treble scored by a Hitchin player in many years.

There was a great sense of relief that Hitchin had finally found their shooting boots. All four goals were good ones, with the first, a first-time shot from Martin Standen after eight minutes, setting the tone for the afternoon.

Yate equalised with† soft goal from a corner on 31 minutes. The last Yate player to touch the ball was Scott Brice, but Yateís disinterest in the game was clear from this moment - they barely acknowledged the goal.

Just before the interval, however, Hitchin had a double let-off. A long range shot by Paul Chenoweth hit the crossbar and as it rebounded, Jake Reidís header was also denied by the woodwork.

After the break, though, Hitchin stepped up a gear. Standen and Stevenson both went close before the Canaries regained the lead in the 60th minute. Ryan Charles cross to Stevenson who hit a powerful volley past Yate goalkeeper Sam Pearce from the edge of the area.

Hitchin players celebrate

Once again, Yate came back, taking advantage of a Hitchin attack breaking down and scoring through substitute Jack Smythe.

There was still some life left in Hitchin and in the 84th minute, Stevenson applied the finishing touch as the ball ran loose in the Yate penalty area.

In the final minute, Yateís Steve Jenkins was red-carded for bringing down Charles in full flow. The drama was not over as in added time, Stevenson fired home a low shot after being set-up by Mark Ducket.

Hitchin: Beckwith, Deeney, A.Scanlon, Gentle-King, Frater, G.Lamacraft, Williams (Orphanou 82), Stevenson, Standen, Charles, Ducket

Yate: Pearce, Brice, Elsey, Jenkins, Jeffries (Thompson 87), Sims, Anyinsah, Chenoweth (Smythe 63), Reid, Williams, Bridson (Clark 68)

Referee: B.Williams

Attendance: 200

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