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Hitchin Town 3 Barton Rovers 0

Monday, April 5 2010

A comfortable victory and maximum points at Easter - Colin Payne could not have asked for a better holiday period. Barton Rovers came to Top Field in bottom position and although they worked hard as a team, they didn't - at any time - threaten to cause an upset.

Jon Stevenson stole the headlines. Since returning to Hitchin, he has been used sparingly, largely to allow him to find fitness, but against Barton, he scored two fine goals and had his most productive game.

Stevenson opened the scoring after 15 minutes with a textbook header from a long throw by Ashley Grinham.

Hitchin could have added to Stevenson's goal when Harry Hunt met a low cross by Ieuan Lewis, only to be denied by Barton goalkeeper Grant Beckwith.

There was a hint of retaliation from Barton, Bilal Hassan's shot was saved by Martin Bennett and a long range effort by Sam Stanton landed on the roof of the net. But right on the stroke of half-time, a through ball by Carl Williams was met first time by Jamie Arlick and only a fingertip save from Beckwith prevented Hitchin's leading scorer from finding the net.

Beckwith was in nomansland when Hitchin scored their second goal in the 51st minute. Stevenson's free kick was well place, swerving over a ragged Barton wall, but the goalkeeper was nowhere to be seen. Nevertheless, it was a well placed shot.

With 12 minutes to go, Hitchin put some gloss on the scoreline with another well worked goal. A deep cross from Grinham was met by Jeff Hammond but Beckwith parried the header - only as far as Williams, who turned and fired into the roof of the net.

"We've played better and we could have had more polish," said Payne. "But once we scored, the result was not in doubt We've had a good Easter and the team has bounced back well from the Soham defeat."

To see a photo gallery of this match, click here

Hitchin Town (1)3 Barton Rovers (0)0

1-0 Stevenson 15 mins; 2-0 Stevenson 51 mins; 3-0 Williams 78 mins

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Grinham, Williams, Smith, Gilbert, Lewis (Payne 84), Stevenson (Lee 74), Arlick, Hunt (Hammond 74), Burke

Barton: Beckwith, Stanton (Case 68), Cook, Hull, Daniels, Andrews, Spencer, Harkin (Winston 58, Duffy 74), O'Brien, Hassan, C.Donnelly

Attendance: 404 (20 from Barton)
Referee: C.O'Donnell

Photo Gallery courtesy of Geoff Chapman - click link to view

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