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Hitchin Town 1 AFC Sudbury 0

Thursday, April 15 2010

A solitary goal was enough for Hitchin to record their fifth successive victory and to keep their title hopes very much alive. But the events at Sutton Coldfield, where Bury Town won a seven-goal thriller, underlined that even the most statistically impressive of seasons may not end in automatic promotion.

Colin Payne remains optimistic that the title race still has a twist to come, but games are running out and the Canaries have a punishing week ahead of them.

The win against AFC Sudbury wasn’t a classic, but with Hitchin playing their third game in six games, they could be forgiven for that. The Canaries remained on top almost throughout, starting in the early stages when Harry Hunt and Richard Howell both went close to scoring.

The decisive goal came on the half hour after an intense period of pressure. Shots rained in on Richard Wilmot’s goal, and after several attempts, Hunt fired in off Wilmot and into the roof of the net.

Missed chances was the theme of the second period aswell. Howell set up Jeff Hammond but he flicked wide within seconds of arriving as substitute.

In the 62nd minute,  Sudbury were reduced to 10 men after Rhys Darg, who was doing his best to accumulate cards, was shown the route to the dressing room.
But the Suffolk men were tough to break down. Hammond combined with Howell to create a chance for the latter and after some neat footwork by Jamie Arlick, Hammond saw another shot blocked.

As time ran out, Hammond evaded a challenge and hit a low shot that struck Wilmot’s post.

The most light-hearted moment came in added time when the veteran Wilmot, venturing upfield for a corner, struggled to get back to his goal, lapping up the good natured applause from his old club’s fans.

Hitchin Town (1)1 AFC Sudbury (0)0

1-0 Hunt 30 mins

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Fontenelle, Williams, Smith, Gilbert, Lewis, L.Donnelly, Arlick (Stevenson 90), Hunt (Hammond 53), Howell (Burke 75)
AFC Sudbury: Wilmot, Speed, Henshaw (Barnes 66), S.Clarke, Brown, N.Clarke, Darg, Heath, Calver, Fox

Attendance: 326 (a dozen from Sudbury)
Referee: W. Hardie



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