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Hitchin Town 0 Luton Town 3

Saturday, July 14 2007

The most notable aspect about Hitchin's first pre-season game of the summer was the attendance. A crowd of 1,264 – most making the journey over from Luton – turned up, making it a bumper pay-day for the Canaries. Indeed, it is doubtful if there will be a bigger crowd at Top Field during the entire 2007-08 season.

After a week of speculation as to the composition of the Luton team, the Hatters brought over an interesting mix of trialists, youth players and seasoned new signings at the tail-end of their careers. One player, Chris Perry, had last been seen at Wembley for the Championship play-off. Former Liverpool and Scotland midfielder Don Hutchison was making a trial appearance for Luton, and Paul Furlong was also unveiled, much to the delight of the young Luton supporters.

As for Hitchin, there was a pre-match setback when new goalkeeper Ricky Perks was injured in the kick-about. Michael Bennett, an unknown former youth player, stepped in, but by the second half, Richard Wilmot answered an emergency call to put on the Hitchin shirt again.

Bennett did well, however, pulling off some good saves from Furlong and Rob Sinclair in the first half. Aside from that, new signings Parys Okai and Darren Spinks looked solid enough but there was an alarming lack of firepower in the Hitchin squad.
In fact, just one forward – Scott Orphanou – started for the Canaries, although there was a second half glimpse of pugnacious striker Carl Drew, who had two chances to score. Strikers must surely be on Darren Salton’s shopping list in the coming weeks.

Luton scored twice just before the interval, through Kevin Harper (42 mins) and Ryan Charles (44 mins). The second goal was scored by a player who spent time on loan at Hitchin last season. He sent a 25-yard shot in off the crossbar to earn the applause of both Luton and Hitchin fans.

Luton’s final goal came in the 86th minute, Joel Grant netting at the second attempt from close range.

Hitchin: Bennet, N.Gentle-King, Spinks, Frater, L.Gentle-King, Stevenson, Orphanou, Okai, Hill, Lamacraft, Ducket

Subs used: A.Scanlon, P.Scanlon, Hoyte, Drew, Cauldwell, Femey, Williams


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