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Stourbridge 1 Hitchin Town 0

Saturday, October 25 2008

Canaries manager Darran Hay was bitterly disappointed after his side crashed to BGB Premier new boys at the War Memorial Athletic Ground.

Stourbridge had won just one league game at home before meeting Hitchin and with the Canaries enjoying some good away wins this season, Hay’s men could approach this fixture with some confidence. But they never played to their full potential and it was a lack lustre performance.

Hay brought in lanky striker Marlon Campbell who had a brief but productive spell with Hitchin last season. Campbell’s height and aerial power was seen as something of a trump card, but short of match practice, he was withdrawn on the hour. Sadly, it was one of Hitchin’s less creative afternoons and the frontmen were starved of opportunities to shine.

In the first half, however, there were some promising signs. A Tyron Sealey cross set up Paul Barnes and Ian Draycott - relishing a midfield role - created a chance for Rod Hicks, who shot high.

But the second period started badly for Hitchin when Michael Cox was adjudge to have brought down Sam Rock and a penalty was awarded. James Dyson took the kick and Martin Bennett saved superbly to keep Hitchin in the game. Stourbridge were not to be denied, however, and in the 63rd minute, a long ball forward caught Hitchin out and the ball rebounded off Bennett, who had come out to intercept and onto Rock to roll into the net.

Action from Stourbridge v Hitchin Town

Rock, who rather confusingly wore a number two shirt, caused more problems when he crossed for Drew Canavan whose shot was saved by Bennett. And in a difficult period for Hitchin, Rock was kept out by Bennett again.

Hitchin tried to step up the pressure towards the end, with Jon Woolf’s shot saved by Lewis Solley and then in a frantic scramble in the dying seconds, Cox and Luke Gregson both saw their shots blocked. At one point, it looked as if a hand had been used to deny Gregson, but the referee refused to yield to protests.

Hay and his team trudged off disappointed. "We have to do better than that," said Hay. "We know what we have to do and we will in the coming weeks."

Stourbridge (0) 1 Hitchin Town (0)0

Stourbridge: Solley, Rock, Hines, Collins, Mahon, Winsper, Slater, Broadhurst, Canavan (Billingham 89), Dyson, Dovey (Morris 79)

Scorer: Rock 63

Hitchin: Bennett, Barr (Simkins 74), Pepper, Draycott (Woolf 75), Gilbert, Cox, Sealey, Gregson, P.Barnes, Campbell (M.Barnes 58), Hicks

Referee: J.Simpson

Attendance: 207



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