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Hitchin Town 2 Stevenage Borough 4

Thursday, July 17 2008

Not until Stevenage threw on their heavy artillery did Hitchin finally capitulate against the Blue Square Premier favourites in another impressive display by the Canaries.

Stevenage manager Graham Westley brought on the likes of Mitchell Cole, Steve Morison and Daryl McMahon to completely turn around Hitchin's two goal half-time lead. For the first 45 minutes, Hitchin had performed well, building on an impressive win against beleaguered Luton Town earlier in the week.

Hitchin took the lead after 18 minutes when Stevenage keeper James Russell slipped up and trialist Ian Draycott slid the ball into the net. Draycott had two further efforts and looked comfortable in the Canaries line up.

A minute before the interval, another of the night's successes, Russell Ball scored with a looping header from Tom Pepper's cross. Ball, who has scored in both Hitchin's pre-season games, could be a good addition to Darran Hay’s squad.

Russell Ball scores

A different Stevenage side came out after the break – literally. Within two minutes, Morison and McMahon bulldozed their way through and the latter shot into the net.

On the hour, Boro equalised, Mitchell Cole flicking the ball over Martin Bennett following a throw-in. Six minutes later, a spectacular long-range shot from Anthony Thomas gave Bennett no chance and gave Boro the lead.

The scoring was completed in the 74th minute, a long cross by McMahon headed home at the far post by Morison.

Hay was pleased with his charges: "It was a learning experience for the lads, but we played well and there were many positives for us."

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Wilson (Clark), Williams (Gregson), Gilbert (Gross), Smith, Woolf, Stupple (McArdle), Draycott (Orphanou), Ball, Barr (Ibrahim)

Attendance: 351

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