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Merthyr Tydfil 3 Hitchin Town 0

Tuesday, January 22 2008

Hitchin's plight is becoming worse by the week. This defeat, their seventh in eight games, meant that the gap between the Canaries and safety has stretched to 11 points.

If you examine the facts, it is clear that the problem goes back to the very start of the season. Hitchin struggled to replace players like Chris Dillon and Josh Sozzo and the goal famine has continued – just 16 in the last 16 games. This, and the loss of key defender Ryan Frater has given Darran Hay an uneviable task of keeping Hitchin in the BGB Premier.

At Merthyr, Hitchin rarely looked like adding to their meagre goal tally. They started slowly and as soon as Matt Glassey had shot Merthyr ahead after 31 minutes, the result was never in doubt.

Indeed, Merthyr could have been further ahead before the interval, with Craig Steins and Jamie Rewbury both missing chances. Hitchin’s only gesture was a David Deeney free kick that failed to trouble the Merthyr defence.

After the interval, Hitchin started to play better football, but there was no end product. Merthyr went further ahead in the 67th minute when Marcus Griffiths lofted the ball over goalkeeper Ricky Perks, who had come out to meet an attack.

Three minutes later, Merthyr added another, Glassey heading home from a cross from Matt Harris.

It wasn't until late in the game that the home side's keeper, Ashley Morris was called into action, but even then there was no consolation goal for the Canaries.

Hitchin have a tough few weeks ahead of them, but for the small band of fans who were present at Penydarren Park, this was a hard evening to endure.

Merthyr: Morris, Porter, Hartshorn, Dale Griffiths, Wharton, Rewbury (Martin 87), Harris, Thomas, Darren Griffiths (M.Griffiths 65), Steins, Glassey

Hitchin: Perks, Deeney, Mountford, Williams, Gilbert, Pepper, Armstrong (Miller 75), Beale (Olaleye 69), Pringle, Stevenson, Mills

Referee: S.Knapp

Attendance: 323


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