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Hitchin Town 0 Tiverton Town 1

Saturday, September 6 2008

Hitchin manager Darran Hay kept his side on the pitch for a heated inquest over the Canaries latest setback against Tiverton Town.

Hay was incensed that his team had failed to win again at home in a week that saw Hitchin earn just one point from two home games. For the second time in five days, Hay’s men dominated for long periods but had little to show for their efforts.

In the post-match inquest, most people insisted that Hitchin didn’t play badly. The evidence is there for all to see in the number of chances created. Finishing is clearly the problem with Hay still trying to determine his best front-line pairing and injuries and fitness having a big say in who does actually fill the strikers’ shirts.

If Hitchin had taken their early chances, notably when Tyron Sealey weaved his way through and sent in a low cross that bounced off Jon Woolf and forced veteran keeper Steve Book save. Then Sealey also went close himself, shooting wide when free inside the area.

The game deteriorated however, with a number of petty bookings. At this point, the smart money was on a red card being waved before the end of the game. The net effect of the stop-start nature of the 15 minutes before the interval was a sleepy conclusion to the half.

Tiverton almost opened the scoring in the 51st minute when Paul Wyatt received the ball inside the Hitchin area and drove wide with the goal beckoning. At the other end, Hitchin woke up and Michael Cox headed over and Paul Barnes made space for himself and saw his shot saved by Book and then he volleyed wide after the ball fell kindly for him.

Barnes was withdrawn and Russell Bull took his place, but the lanky striker last just 15 minutes, a victim of a collision that saw him carried off with blood running down his face. A broken nose and a faceful of stitches was the outcome - another blow to Hay’s plans.

Added time saw Tiverton grab the winner - Mark Saunders headed across goal and the anxious Hitchin defence failed to prevent Arran Pugh sliding the ball into the net. Despite the bonus of an additional 15 minutes, the Canaries couldn’t find a way back, leaving Hay distraught at the outcome.

Hitchin Town (0)0 Tiverton Town (0)1                                                          

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Wilson, Williams, Gilbert, Cox, Sealey, Stupple, P.Barnes (Bull 70 - M.Barnes 86), Draycott (Gregson 63), Woolf          

Tiverton: Book, Adam Faux (Jarvis 53), Alex Faux (Vinnicombe 70), Pugh, Rudge, Gardner (Hiley 38), Fraser, Hopkinson, Knighton, Saunders, Wyatt Scorer: Pugh 90

Referee: P.Barnes                                                                             

Attendance: 298

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