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Swindon Supermarine 0 Hitchin Town 4

Wednesday, April 1 2009

Jeff Hammond became the first Hitchin player to score four times in a league game since February 1997 when he inspired the Canaries to an emphatic victory at Swindon Supermarine.

Hitchin celebrate a goal Hammond, who has now scored 10 goals since joining the club six weeks ago, will miss three games in the final run-in, but he certainly helped the Canaries go a long way towards securing their BGB Premier division status with his performance.

But this was a great all-round display by Hitchin, extending their unbeaten run to five games and picking up their first away win since December. In every department, the Canaries were on their game, with new man Brendan Gallen looking good in defence and the midfield of Carl Williams, Ieuan Lewis, Derwayne Stupple and Mark E’Beyer impressing.

They got off to an ideal start in the seventh minute when Mark Barnes set up Hammond and the little front man finished from 12 yards. Hammond could have had another later in the half when he tried to lob Swindon keeper Matt Bulman, only to see his effort cleared off the line by Lee Henry.

But Hammond was back on the scoresheet in the 39th minute, racing onto a long ball by Ollie Thorne and finishing in a one-on-one situation against Bulman.

Swindon, who were playing their second game in three days, scarcely troubled Hitchin and Martin Bennett had an easy time all evening.

The second half was much the same as the first, with the pace of Hammond and Barnes causing problems for the Swindon rearguard.

Two goals in four minutes killed off the home side and underlined the credentials of Hammond. In the 54th minute, Stupple’s ball into the area found Hammond and although he had to fight for possession, he managed to shoot home from an acute angle.

Three minutes later, Hammond was at it again, winning a 50-50 ball some 40 yards out and running on to finish from 15 yards.

E’Beyer struck the post shortly afterwards before Hammond left the field to a standing ovation - his contribution on the night and since joining the club has been immense.

Hitchin were left with 10 men for the final six minutes when Ollie Thorne limped off, but it mattered not - Swindon were buried and even the most pessimistic Canaries fan must now be reasonably confident that Colin Payne’s men can avoid the drop.

Swindon Supermarine (0)0 Hitchin Town (2)4

Swindon: Bulman, Thompson, Allen, McKay, Henry, Morris, Harris, Horgan (Edenborough 61), Griffin, Draycott, N.Stanley

Hitchin: Bennett, Rose, Gallen (Grinham h/t), Munday, Thorne, Williams, Lewis (Boateng 80), Stupple, Hammond (St.Aimie 75), M.Barnes, E'Beyer

Scorers: Hammond 7, 43, 54, 57

Attendance: 127

Referee: C.Lymer

Photo: Geoff Tomasson

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