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Hitchin Town 3 Cheshunt 1

Tuesday, January 1 2008

Everyone at Hitchin billed this game as a "must win" if the Canaries are to pull away from the bottom of the table and Darran Hay's men did just that.

Cheshunt came to Top Field a dispirited bunch and Hitchin took full advantage in the first 45 minutes. It didn't take long for the home side to take the lead - barely two minutes had gone when Brett Donnelly headed home a cross by Moses Olaleye. It was just what Donnelly needed to boost his confidence, especially as his larger-than-life father, Ian, was watching him in Hitchin colours for the first time.

Cheshunt could have equalised shortly afterwards, but Josh Cooper's effort was well saved by goalkeeper Martin Bennett.

Hitchin extended their lead, however, in the 21st minute from the penalty spot. Paul Armstrong ran to the byline and attempted to pull the ball back, and as he did so, Cheshunt defender Glen Parry handballed. David Deeney netted with his penalty kick.

A similar move six minute from half-time resulted in Hitchin's third goal. Donnelly fought his way into the area and as he turned the ball back, it deflected into the net.

Cheshunt went in at half-time a ragged outfit and the Top Field patrons predicted a goal glut in the second half - but it didn't work out like that at all.

There were few Hitchin chances for the remaining 45 minutes, but Cheshunt didn't really threaten to make a contest of it. Lee Allen saw his shot saved by Bennett while Hitchin's only half chances came from a low ball across the face of goal by Olalaye and a David Deeney free kick.

Five minutes from time, Cheshunt pulled a goal back, Cooper's well-place but tame shot beating Bennett after good work by Jimmy Martin.

Hitchin had one more chance, Richard Pringle heading onto the roof of the net following a long ball into the Cheshunt area.

Hitchin: Bennett, Barr, Mountford, Pepper, Gilbert, Deeney, Mills, Olalaye, Donnelly (Pringle 82), Armstrong (Orphanou 78), Miller (Kenneford 63)

Cheshunt: Taylor, Carroll, Reece (Martin 65), A.Fenton (Herd h/t), Parry, Hicks, Cooper, Allen, Adeoye (Simenic 65), Cox, Deane

Referee: R.McKay

Attendance: 264

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