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Hitchin Town 4 Arlesey Town 1

Saturday, December 26 2009

Howell's free kick that led to Hitchin's first goalThis was a game Hitchin wanted to win - and didn't it show! In the close-season a number of Hitchin players defected to Arlesey and much of the summer talk was around a major challenge to Hitchin's position in local football.

It added some extra spice to this intriguing derby match, but - until Easter at least - the Canaries have neighbourhood bragging rights. For Colin Payne's team comfortably won this most local of local derbies with an emphatic win against a leaden-footed Arlesey side in front of more than 500 people.

This was an excellent afternoon's work for Hitchin, with Carl Williams outstanding in midfield, Tony Fontenelle and Dean Gilbert - both ex-Arlesey men - determined at the back and the front men, Harry Hunt and Jamie Arlick. tormenting Derek Brown and Mark Leach in the visiting defence.

The Canaries took the lead after nine minutes when Richard Howell's free kick (pictured) was parried by Martyn Patching and Arlick netted from the rebound.Six minutes later, a long ball from Tony Fontenelle ended with Patching red faced and confused as Arlick took advantage to score his second goal.To be fair to Patching, the beach-like conditions in the area may have contributed to the incident.

Arlesey were most dangerous from set pieces and their aerial power, spearheaded by former Hitchin striker Zema Abbey, gave their opponents something to think about.

Arlesey pulled a goal back on 22 minutes when Chris Marsh scored with a well struck shot from the edge of the area. But just 30 seconds later, Hitchin restored their two-goal advantage when Arlick flicked on a long ball and Hunt rounded the hapless Patching to score.

Arlick secured his hat-trick in the 63rd minute when Fontenelle went on a characteristic long run and slid the ball through for the in-form striker to flick the ball home.

Arlesey's afternoon got worse when midfielder Derwayne Stupple brought down Ieuen Lewis in full flight and was awarded a red card. In truth, a couple more could have received their marching orders, notably Nathan Frater, a former Hitchin man who came on to push and shove his way through the final stages of the game.

Craig Reynolds, for Arlesey, and Hitchin's Danny May both struck the woodwork in the last few minutes.

Hitchin Town (3)4 Arlesey Town (1)1

1-0 Arlick 9 mins; 2-0 Arlick 15 mins; 2-1 Marsh 22 mins; 3-1 Hunt 23 mins; 4-1 Arlick 63 mins

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Fontenelle, Williams, Gilbert, Smith, Lewis, Lee, Arlick, (Hammond 81), Hunt, Howell (May 85)

Arlesey: Patching, Reynolds (Hanley 73), Coulson, Leach, Brown, Gregson, Sinclair, Stupple, Abbey (Frater 65), Marsh, Olaleye (Reynolds 51)

Attendance: 510 (100 from Arlesey)

Referee: C.Knowles

Photo Gallery courtesy of Geoff Chapman - click link to view 

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