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Hitchin Town 0 Oxford City 4

Saturday, January 24 2009

On a day when Hitchin Town tried to look forward, they were dragged back 12 months to the club’s last relegation battle.

Balderson against Oxford City, January 24 2009A crushing home defeat, and a lack lustre performance all round, gave caretaker boss Carl Williams the worst possible start to his tenure. Poor Williams was bitterly disappointed at the end of the game, and who can blame him? His charges were completely outplayed by a slick Oxford side and he will be demanding far better in the next few games. Certainly, if the Canaries continue to play like this, they can start looking at the BGB Midlands Division fixture list.

Williams asked for 100% from his players and there were clearly some who didn’t get the message. Oxford cruised into a two-goal lead inside 21 minutes. The first goal came from a cross by Andy Ballard that was headed home by Alex Fisher. The same player did the damage four minutes later, finishing off after a good run by James Faulkner.

Hitchin hit back briefly, with Mark E’Beyer striking the crossbar with a header and then volleying wide after controlling the ball on his chest from a Tom Pepper cross. Mark Barnes also went close, receiving a Michael Cox cross but seeing his shot blocked by a defender.

Eight minutes into the second half, Oxford scored again, Andy Baird finishing from close range following a corner. Hitchin were well and truly finished by this goal and they rarely threatened to breach the Oxford defence for the remainder of the game.

Indeed, Oxford could have run up a healthy score in the second half, Baird going close with a chip and Michael Lyon spurning two good chances to score.

Oxford’s fourth goal came in the 64th minute, Andy Gunn heading home from a Steve Davis corner.

Thirteen goals conceded in three games, Hitchin’s defensive woes continue. Not even the return of popular utility player Jon Stevenson could change that. Carl Williams has a tough task - but he has already shown he will not suffer fools. Or bad performances….

Hitchin Town (0)0 Oxford City (2)4

Hitchin: Carpenter, Pepper, Tocco, Stupple, Thorne (Cox 39), Stevenson, Lewis, E’Beyer, P.Barnes, M.Barnes (Mason 59), Balderson (Boteng 59)

Oxford: Harrison, Lambert, Ballard, Gunn, Malone, Savage, Lyon, Fisher, Faulkner (Rendell 68), Baird, Davis (Carbon 68)

Scorer: Fisher 17, 21 Baird 53, Gunn64

Attendance: 327

Referee: N.Smith


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