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Hitchin Town 0 Halesowen Town 1

Saturday, November 15 2008

Hitchin fans could be forgiven for believing there are a sense of deja vu about this game. It was almost a year ago that Canaries manager Darran Hay started to dismantle Darren Salton’s side to build a new one. Twelve months on, Hay is undergoing essential repair work on his squad, and just as it took time to build last season, there was a realisation that it may take some time to come right.

All of Hay’s new men looked useful acquisitions, but it was unfortunate that Hitchin had to come up against an affluent side that has designs on promotion. But the difference between the two teams was not as great as the resources would suggest.

In truth, Hitchin didn’t look likely to score. Supply to Paul Barnes was choked by the Halesowen defence and new frontman Danny Charge, while looking nimble, was unable to make too much of an impression.

The first half was as dull as the day, with Martin Bennett making a good early save from Aaron Cornwall’s free kick. But Bennett was beaten in the 21st minute, a high ball proving troublesome before Cornwall forced the ball home. There were suggestions that Bennett may have been pushed. Charge had a chance for Hitchin six minutes from the interval when his shot was blocked.

Hitchin started the second half in determined fashion, with substitute Ieaun Lewis shooting wide from long range. The best chance, however, fell to Mark E’Beyer, who saw his shot saved by Nick Bussey after Paul Barnes had dribbled past two players.

But in the 70th minute, Hitchin received another blow when Tom Pepper was sent off after a second yellow card.

Halesowen almost added a second goal in the 80th minute when Jermaine Palmer weaved into the penalty area and saw his shot pushed for a corner.

With the clock into added time, E’Beyer was sent off after receiving his second yellow. It was a scruffy end to a game that did little to commend BGB Premier football.

Hitchin Town (0)0 Halesowen Town (1)1

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Ellams, E’Beyer, Gilbert, Rose, Doyle (Hilaire 60), Stupple, P.Barnes, Charge (Cox 72), Boateng (Lewis 55)

Halesowen: Bussey, Briscoe, Cowley, Canoville, Hoyte, Barieto, Denny, Nurse, Palmer (Smith 88), Danks (Abbey 72), Cornwall

Scorer: Cornwall 21

Attendance: 325

Referee: B.Williams

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