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Hitchin Town 2 Corby Town 2

Tuesday, February 17 2009

Colin Payne's Hitchin Town career got off to an excellent start with this highly encouraging result against title-chasing Corby Town at Top Field.

Payne brought in three new faces - Dean Smith, Jon Munday and Jeff Hammond -  and they all blended in well. What's more, Payne must have been heartened by the way his team came back twice to earn a valuable point. "The lads battled well," he said. "And this gives us something to build on."

Hitchin started well against their celebrated visitors, but it was Corby that went ahead after 33 minutes, Steve Diggin culring home after evading two tackles.

Hitchin refused to give up, however, and they eventually equalised in the second half when recalled midfielder Chris Doyle shot past Mark Osborn after good work by Mark E'Beyer and Mark Barnes.

Corby regained the lead after 83 minutes after a slip-up by goalkeeper Luke Woods, Leon Hibbert, who had been on the pitch just 10 minutes, heading into the net.

But Hitchin showed great character just four minutes later when substitute Des Boateng found Russell Bull and the ball ran to Mark Barnes who deftly flick his effort home.

Woods made amends for his slip up and Hitchin and Boateng went close to snatching a winner. Corby saw defender Phil Watt red-carded for an elbow offence in the dying seconds.

Hitchin left the field to an ovation from their supporters - reviving memories of a similar game with Kings Lynn last season. That game sparked off the great escape - perhaps a good omen for Payne and his men?

Hitchin Town (0)2 Corby Town (1)2

Hitchin: Woods, Pepper, Smith (Boateng 68), Munday, Thorne, Davis (Grinham 45), Doyle, E'Beyer, Hammond (Bull 81), M.Barnes, Stevenson

Scorers: Doyle 63, M.Barnes 87

Corby: Osborn, West, White (Hibbert 73), Watt, Warren, Hildreth, Turner, Towers (O'Halloran 68), Nurse (Brennan 58), Diggin, Burgess

Scorers: Diggin 33, Hibbert 83

Referee: G.Muge

Attendance: 273

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