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Bashley 4 Hitchin Town 0

Tuesday, April 21 2009

Hitchin Town were left staring into the abyss after a disastrous evening in Hampshire in which their BGB Premier survival hopes were dealt a savage blow. On a night when Clevedon, one of their fellow strugglers came back from 0-3 down to beat Yate 4-3, thereby consigning their opponents to the drop, Hitchin couldn’t have had a worse time.


It was a calamitous second half that did all the damage, for at half-time, Hitchin were level and Clevedon trailed by two goals. The first period was not without problems for Hitchin, however, as defender Jon Munday limped off injured and Colin Payne, once more, had to reshuffle his side.


Hitchin had their chances in the first half, notably when Jeff Hammond saw his header saved by David Elm from a Mark Barnes cross.


The game swung dramatically in the opening minutes of the second period. In the 52nd minute, Adam Kelly gave Bashley the lead with a 20 yard shot. Two minutes later, Richard Gillespie sent a long range shot past Martin Bennett.


Hitchin had the chance to pull a goal back when Matt Finlay handballed in the area, by Jeff Hammond missed his spot-kick. The striker’s frustration boiled over two minutes later and he was red-carded for a reckless challenge. This could be looked back on as the turning point of Hitchin’s season.


It was now a case of keeping the score down as Clevedon were still trailing at the Hand Stadium, but a dramatic comeback in Somerset saw the home side come back to 3-3. There was no way back for the Canaries, however, as they struggled to keep their shape.


In the 82nd minute, a deflected shot by Charlie Knight extended Bashley’s lead further and in added time, Justin Keeler completed a terrible night for Hitchin.


It’s all down to the last game now, but Hitchin’s future is not in their own hands.


Bashley (2)4 Hitchin Town (0)0


Bashley:  Elm, Gazzard, Ferrett, Parnell, Knowles, Kelly (Tarr 73), Allen (Castle 90), Moss (Keeler 77), Gillespie, Knight


Scorers: Kelly 52, Gillespie 54, Knight 82, Keeler 90


Hitchin: Bennett, Rose (George 66), Grinham, Munday (McArdle 15), Olima, Boateng, Lewis, Stupple, Hammond, M.Barnes, Edgerley (St.Aimie 59)


Attendance: TBA

Referee: B.Knight

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