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Hitchin Town 4 Burnham 0

Saturday, December 12 2009

This was just what they needed! After a series of lack lustre performances, Hitchin nailed their title credentials to the mast and sent out a strong message to the rest of the Zamaretto Midlands Division.

Little wonder that manager Colin Payne sat beaming after the game. His side demolished Burnham, previously unbeaten away this season, and went back to the top of the table. "That was out best display since we won at Canvey," he said. "I couldn't be happier with the way we responded to our midweek defeat at Soham."

Burnham, who had a number of key men missing, simply had no answer to the Canaries' fast moving football, with Richard Howell outstanding and Jamie Arlick and Harry Hunt linking up superbly. And at the back, the return of Mark Smith had a galvanising effect on the Hitchin defence.

After early chances for Hunt and Dean Gilbert, the former opened the scoring for Hitchin after 17 minutes, touching the ball home after Howell headed on a Tom Pepper cross. The lead was extended after 29 minutes with a well crafted goal. Howell, again, was involved, showing some clever footwork in the area before rolling the ball to Arlick swept his shot wide of Paul McCarthy.

The second half started with a powerful Howell shot being tipped over by McCarthy, but it wasn't long before Hitchin scored again. In the 57th minute, Pepper was sent sprawling in the area and Arlick duly scored with the penalty kick.

Six minutes later, Hitchin breached the Burnham defence on once more. That man Howell tormented the visitors once more, sending a shot goalwards that McCarthy could only parry to Hunt, who scored from close range.

It wasn't until later in the game that Burnham threatened, Ryan Bird and substitute Jerome Federico going close when they should have perhaps done better.

Hitchin Town (2)4 Burnham (0)0

1-0 Hunt 17 mins

2-0 Arlick 29 mins

3-0 Arlick pen 57 mins

4-0 Hunt 63 mins

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper (May 75), Fontenelle, Williams, Smith, Gilbert, Lewis, L.Donnelly, Arlick (Hammond 85), Hunt, Howell

Burnham: McCarthy, Hatcher, Dean, King, Willment, Sear, Coyne, T.O'Connor (Federico 57), C.O'Connor (Dowdican 75), Bird, Godwin (Fennemore 53)

Attendance: 277 (10 from Burnham)

Referee: G.Russell

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