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Rugby Town 0 Hitchin Town 2

Saturday, February 23 2008

Now the great escape is on!. That was the over-riding sentiment after the Canaries' second successive win. The manner in which Hitchin won at Rugby has given Darran Hay's side hope they can now get out of the relegation zone in the coming weeks.

They fully deserved their victory, playing with the sort of confidence not seen among their players all season. Rugby, who had only just given their new manager his first win, were dragged into the mire by the Canaries and as Hitchin departed Butlin Road, the home side were left looking over their shoulders.

It wasn't a classic game, but it had a classic goal, Mark Ducket's 69th minute strike lighting up the afternoon.

You can view it here http://www.soccerx.co.uk/215.html

The first half was an even affair, with Ricky Perks keeping Rugby at bay in the opening minutes, notably saving David Stone's close range effort after 60 seconds.

Hitchin's best effort fell to Luke Gregson, who shot across the face of goal after being set up by Marlon Campbell.

Paul Barnes in action 

It didn't take long for the Canaries to take the lead after the break. In the 51st minute, a long ball from Ducket found Iuean Lewis on the flank, and the Welshman ran on, drew the keeper and slid the ball inside to Campbell who netted his first goal for the club.

Hitchin could have extended their lead when Jon Stevenson volleyed just wide in the 68th minute, but within a minute, the game was settled.

Ducket showed a bit of trickery to evade a tackle and then switched the ball to his trusty left foot to send a 30-yard shot past Richard Antiss in the Rugby goal.

Rugby came back and threatened the Hitchin goal, with Perks pulling off a couple of good saves, from Mark Edge and Dave Pearson.

This type of performance will be needed in the next few games - daunting contests with Chippenham, Kings Lynn and Team Bath are next on the agenda - but the revitalised Canaries have shown they have turned a corner.

Rugby: Antiss, Stringfellow (Kolodynski 65), Evans, Herbert, Gordon, King, Scott (Edge 74), Musgrove, Pearson, Stone

Hitchin: Perks, Barr, Pepper, Williams, Stevenson, Smith, Lewis (Olaleye 86), Gregson, Barnes (Harusha 80), Campbell (Mills 86), Ducket

Attendance: 273

Referee: N.Hobbis

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