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Evesham United 2 Hitchin Town 1

Saturday, December 13 2008

Hitchin’s recent revival was ended at Worcester’s St.George’s Lane - temporary home of Evesham United, but Canaries manager Darran Hay refused to be too downhearted after this 2-1 defeat.

"We were a lot better in the second half, and we were not too far away from salvaging something from the game," he said.

Hay was dismayed at the way his team opened, however. In the first half, they could have gone in more than two goals down after the home side laid siege on the Hitchin goal. Evesham went ahead after just seven minutes, Troy Wood sweeping the ball into the net after Mark Hands had headed on a corner. Seconds earlier, Canaries keeper Martin Bennett had pulled off an excellent save from Hands.

Bennett was in top form when he prevented Danny Scheppel from scoring, but from another cross, this time by Michael Hayden, Hands glanced his header into the net to give Evesham a two-goal lead after 14 minutes. Hands also struck a post as Evesham took full control.

After the interval, Hitchin looked in better shape and Paul Barnes went close early on after being set up by brother Mark. Des Boateng also went close when his long range effort sailed over the bar. Paul Barnes was involved again in the 70th minute when he cut inside and saw his shot saved by temperamental Evesham goalkeeper Nathan Vaughan.

Hitchin finally got on the scoresheet in the 74th minute when substitute Russell Bull was upended by Vaughan and Paul Barnes scored from the penalty spot.

Hitchin were reduced to 10 men for the last minutes of the game, Chris Doyle being stretchered off.

Evesham United (2)2 Hitchin Town (0)1

Evesham: Vaughan, Watson, Hayden, Hodnett, Luckett, Blake, Fitter, Hands, Wood (Lennon 62), Clarke (Ager 84), Scheppel

Scorers: Wood 7, Hands 14

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Tocco (Lewis h/t), Williams, Gilbert, E’Beyer, Balderson, Stupple, P.Barnes, M.Barnes (Bull 71), Boateng (Doyle 66)

Scorer: P.Barnes 74 pen.

Attendance: 151

Referee: M.Weaver


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