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Hitchin Town 0 Swindon Supermarine 1

Saturday, December 22 2007

Darran Hay has insisted it will take some weeks before the benefits of his team overhaul start to reap benefits. At Top Field, just three days before Christmas, it was clear that Hay will not receive any gifts along the way as the Canaries lost for the second successive week at home to bottom half of the table opposition.

Talking of league tables, it is doubtful that any Hitchin fan will be eagerly scanning the BGB Premier for encouragement. True, the Canaries have games in hand, but on current form, wins are few and far between and points are what really count. Hay has a real job on his hands to keep Hitchin up this season, and he will probably dropping bucket-loads of patience down the chimneys of Top Field regulars as he rides his sleigh of optimism into 2008.

You could sense the anxiety at Top Field during a first half in which Hitchin could have taken a fourth minute lead when Gordon Barr headed over from a Wayne Mills cross. But in truth, the best chances fell to Swindon Supermarine, notably Richard Kear who saw a fierce drive chested off the line by Tom Pepper and then volleyed wide from six yards.


Hitchin opened better in the second half with substitute Ricky Miller, who looked lively after coming on for Paul Armstrong, weaving his way into the area only to roll his shot into the side-netting. Then Peper volleyed over from a David Deeney free kick.

Swindon came back into the game and David Stroud and Ash Edenborough both had chances to score. There was a sense of the inevitable when Swindon scored with 12 minutes remaining, Edenborough sweeping the ball home at the far post following a corner.

Hitchin refused to give in, however, and Pepper struck the woodwork with a header following a corner, but Swindon held out.

Brett Donnelly in action 

There were plus point for Hitchin and Hay, despite defeat. Dean Gilbert and Tom Pepper looked more comfortable in new surroundings and Armstrong and Miller have the energy to cause defences problems. Hay and his team may make a request for a new team song, however - perhaps, Take That's recent hit, "Patience" ??

Hitchin Town: Perks, Mountford, Nash, Williams, Gilbert, Pepper, Barr (Hay 78), Deeney, Donnelly, Armstrong (Miller 41, Pringle 87), Mills

Swindon: King, Lapham, Allen, Horgan, Henry (Welsh 37), Abrahams, Thompson, Kear (Lightbody 90), Edenborough (Pearson 82), Taylor, Stroud

Attendance: 266

Referee: L.Forrester

Paul Armstron in action

Photo's courtesy of Dave Freeman - http://dfimage.fotopic.net


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