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Hitchin Town 1 Cambridge City 1

Monday, August 25 2008

Honours may have been even, but both sides were claiming they could have won this tame local derby at Top Field.

Although Cambridge City may have taken until 76 minutes to score a goal, Hitchin could have few complaints that the visitors came away with a point. Likewise, Hitchin also did enough to earn something from the game. But by the end of the 90 minutes, the Canaries looked tired and slightly jaded, four games in nine days taking their toll.

The first period did little to excite the 500-plus crowd. The best chance, until Hitchin took the lead, was an overhead kick by Drew Roberts from a Ben Nunn cross that was just over the top of the home goal.

In the 39th minute, Hitchin took the lead with a surprise goal. Ian Draycott sent over a high cross that seemed to deceive former Canary keeper Richard Wilmot and it landed behind him and in the net. Draycott's humble reaction suggested he was just as shocked with the outcome!

Cambridge went close to equalising in the opening minutes of the second period, Dave Theobald sending a glancing header just wide.

Paul Barnes, as ever the Hitchin danger man, forced Wilmot into a good save after he forced his way through the Cambridge defence and Mark Barnes went close with a volley after Derwayne Stupple had found the Hitchin substitute.

In the 76th minute, Cambridge levelled, Josh Simpson sending a pin-point through-ball into the path of Scott Neilson and he guided the ball just over the body of Hitchin goalkeeper Martin Bennett who had bravely come out to meet the player.

After the goal, Cambridge looked the more likely side, with Roberts chipping just over the bar after a long ball by Wilmot.

The final chances fell to Hitchin, however, with Mark Barnes' low shot deflected for a corner and Luke Gregson volleying wide.

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Wilson (Clark 77), Williams, Gilbert, Smith, Gregson, Stupple, P.Barnes (Bull 89), Draycott (M.Barnes 65), Woolf

Cambridge City: Wilmot, Nunn (Smith 65), Chaffey, Sharp, Theobald, E'Beyer, Neilson, Simpson, Midgley, Roberts, Fuller (Radcliffe 65)

Referee: G.Muge

Attendance: 503



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