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Hitchin Town 1 Gloucester City 1

Saturday, December 20 2008

Hitchin’s inability to win at home continued against Gloucester City, but the Canaries will be encouraged by an improved performance.

Not for the first time in recent weeks, manager Darran Hay shuffled his pack, bringing in three new faces to the starting line-up. Former Luton man Liam George made his debut, but limped off after 48 minutes and defender Ollie Thorne marked his debut with a sending off late in the game.

The Canaries got off to a perfect start with a goal after just tow minutes. New signing Liam McDevitt played the ball across goal and Mark E’Beyer appeared to a get a touch but defender Lewis Fathers got there first to score past his own goalkeeper.

Hitchin had the better of the early stages, with Russell Bull volleying wide and E’Beyer heading over.

Gloucester v Hitchin

Another of Hitchin’s new men, former Luton striker Liam George, created a chance for Paul Barnes, but his shot was comfortably saved by Gloucester keeper Kevin Sawyer.

Gloucester almost equalised when Ashley Thomas sent a low drive goalwards, but Martin Bennett pulled off a one-handed save. It was Thomas that did find the net for the visitors, powerfully heading home from a corner.

Hitchin were not deterred and continued to play with some confidence in the second half. Bull and Barnes both went close with shots after runs through the Gloucester defence, but they had to thank Bennett once more when he saved from Lee Smith’s free kick.

Eleven minutes from time, both sides were reduced to 10 men after a skirmish just inside the Hitchin half. Hitchin’s Ollie Thorne carded for a lunging tackle and Gloucester’s Matt Rose was also dismissed after a stamping incident during the confusion.

In the final minute, Hitchin had a cluster of chances, notably a header by McDevitt that was superbly saved by Sawyer.

Hitchin Town (1)1 Gloucester City (1)1

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Ellams, Thorne, McDevitt, Stupple, Lewis, E’Beyer, P.Barnes, Bull (Gilbert 80), George (Boateng 48)

Scorer: Fathers own goal 2 mins

Gloucester: Sawyer, Sykes, Richards (Hamblin 49), Mustoe, Thomas, Rose, Smith, Fathers (Webb 61), Pitcher, Morford, Harris

Scorer: Thomas 44 mins

Attendance: 288

Referee: N.Smith

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