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Hitchin Town 5 Concord Rangers 0

Saturday, September 13 2008

One of the big debates over the past week or two has been the Canariesí front-line pairing. Not since the opening day of the season has Darran Hay started a game with the Barnes brothers, Paul and Mark, in attack. Against Concord, Hay reunited the Barnes boys and the result was that four of the five goals were scored by last seasonís leading scorers.

Although this was a comfortable five-goal victory, Hitchin took time to get going and Concord proved to be stubborn opponents - at least for the first 45 minutes. It wasnít until the 37th minute that the Canaries took the lead, Lee Wilson passing to Paul Barnes, who worked an accidental one-two with his sibling and then struck a low shot which took a deflection on its way into the net. Earlier, there had been suggestions that the "squander-bug" which has inflicted Hitchin in recent weeks was prevalent once more.

After the interval, it was a very different story, however. Marcus Gross went close with a header from a Wilson corner and Mark Barnes was denied by Adam Rafis in the early stages of the half. In the 59th minute, Hitchin scored their second goal, Paul Barnes playing the ball through to Mark Barnes and he finished with confidence from just inside the area. Two minutes later, Jon Woolf went surging forward, passed wide to substitute Derwayne Stupple and he sent a low shot to the right of keeper Rafis.

The Barnes boys linked up again in the 65th minute for Hitchinís fourth goal. Paul sent a crossfield pass in the path of Mark and he rounded Rafis and stroked the ball into the net.

Hitchin were not finished and in the 70th minute, completing a whirlwind 12-minute spell, Paul Barnes scored again, running onto Michael Coxís through-ball and scoring with ease.

To Concordís credit, they refused to give up and they still went in search of a consolation goal. Late in the game, a bullet cross by Shane Oakley just missed the head of striker Danny Heale.

Hitchin Town (1)5 Concord Rangers (0)0†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Hitchin: Bennet, Pepper, Wilson, Williams, Gross (Simkins 68), Cox, Woolf, Gregson, P.Barnes (Draycott 71), M.Barnes, Sealey (Stupple 52)††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Scorers: P.Barnes 37, 70 M.Barnes 59, 65 Stupple 61

Concord: Rafis, Tiffin (Ing 70), Ogilvie, Howard, Easterford, Curley (Scope 74), Carlile, Cowley (Walsh 64), Begg, Heale, Oakley

Attendance: 225

Referee: R.A. Hyde

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