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Hitchin Town 1 Farnborough 3

Saturday, November 29 2008

This was always going to be a tough call for the Canaries - the meeting of a team unbeaten away from home against a side that cannot win on their own ground. And to make it doubly difficult, Hitchin’s opponents were (and remain) the BGB Premier leaders.

It would be nice to say that Hitchin were unlucky, but aside from a 15 minute spell when they threatened to bring the scoreline level, Farnborough always had too much in reserve for Darran Hay’s side.

The warning signs were there for Hitchin as early as the second minute. Darrell Ellams’ clearance struck Marcus Rose and the ball ran invitingly for Farnborough’s man of the moment Michael Charles. Strikers of his quality don’t miss chances like that and he had a simple task to roll the ball into the net with goalkeeper Martin Bennett nowhere to be seen.

Farnborough were comfortable in the first half hour, with Hitchin restricted to two long range efforts from Paul Barnes and Chris Doyle. Mark Gamble could have extended Farnborough’s lead but for a fine save from Bennett.

But the visitors did extend their advantage after 42 minutes, Gamble setting up Ryan Scott, whose shot deflected past Bennett from the edge of the area.

Hitchin opened better in the second half, and in the 54th minute, Ian Hilaire stabbed the ball home after a cross from Ellams was only partially cleared.

The goal suggested a comeback was on the cards and for a while, it did look possible. Paul Barnes was twice denied, firstly when he raced onto a long clearance by Bennett but Farnborough Lyall Beazley saved and then when Hilaire’s effort was blocked and his shot was cleared off the line by Ian Oliver.

Farnborough were never as convincing as in the first half, but three minutes from the end, they clinched victory when Marcus Richardson scored from just outside the area after Bennett had pushed out Charles’ initial shot.

Hay needs time for his team to get used to each other. Unfortunately, the difficult fixtures keep coming, with a six-pointer at Banbury next Saturday.

Hitchin Town (0)1 Farnborough (2)3

Hitchin: Bennett, Peters (Lewis h/t), Ellams, Balderson, Gilbert, Rose, Doyle, Stupple, P.Barnes, Hilaire (Bull 80), Charge (Boateng 73)

Scorers: Hilaire 54

Farnborough: Beazley, Ray, Oliver, Woozley, Doyle, Laidler, Barima (Rumbold 65), Scott, Gamble (Richardson 77), Charles, Wheeler (Ciardini 81)

Scorers; Charles 2. Scott 42, Richardson 87.

Referee: W.Barnes
Attendance: 385

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