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Hitchin Town 1 Biggleswade Town 0

Tuesday, December 15 2009

Canaries manager Colin Payne said what everyone was thinking after this keenly fought local derby with Biggleswade: “The best team lost”.

At the final whistle, there was sense of relief. Nobody at Top Field wanted to yield points to the Waders, last season’s Spartan South Midlands League champions.

On the night, Biggleswade had a huge chunk of the play and with a better strikeforce, may have grabbed at least a point. They also had the best player on view, Bobby Dance, a player who spent time with Hitchin but never got the chance to shine.

But it was a player who is starting to shine that won the game for Hitchin. Harry “Boy” Hunt has made an impact since signing for Hitchin, and looks set to become a favourite.  While his name evokes memories of East End Boxers or pre-war footballers, Hunt is definitely the zeitgeist, a mobile forward with plenty of energy.

In the fourth minute, Hunt  received the ball from Ieuan Lewis, rounded goalkeeper Dean Bukll and slotted into the net. It promised another goal glut along the lines of Aylesbury and Burnham, but it wasn’t to be.

Biggleswade came back strongly and Brett Donnelly and Glen Lamacraft – two players who once plyed their trade at Hitchin – both went close. Dance made his first impact with an excellent shot that was parried by Martin Bennett.  As the Waders stepped up the pressure, Dean Gilbert almost scythed the ball into his own net.

Hitchin had a good chance to increase their lead in the 48th minute, Hunt sliding the ball through to Arlick, but his shot was blocked by Bull.

Biggleswade missed an even better chance, though, when James Freshwater shot wide with the net gaping before him. Jamie Steel will also recall his miss with horror when he volleyed into Bedford Road.

Hitchin did have their chances, however, with Richard Howell curling one shot wide and Jeff Hammond debied by Bull after he raced through in characteristic style.

Hitchin’s best was saved for the final minute, a piledriver by Louis Lee that hit the outside of an upright.

“We rode our luck to tonight, but the results went our way and we are pleased to get this tricky game out of the way,” said Colin Payne. “Fair play to Biggleswade, though, they made it hard for us and will feel they should have got something from the game. We could not have complained.”

Hitchin Town (1)1 Biggleswade Town (0)0

1-0 Hunt 4 mins

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Fontenelle (May h/t), Williams, McDevitt, Gilbert, Lewis, L.Donnelly, Arlick, Hunt (Hammond 65), Howell (Lee 75)
Biggleswade: Bull, Bexfield, Webster, Folds (Hall 8), Reynolds, Kilroy, Dance, Lamacraft, Steel (Herron 65), B.Donnelly, Freshwater

Attendance: 303 (40 from Biggleswade)

Referee: J.Steel

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