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Hitchin town 3 Leighton Town 0

Saturday, March 20 2010

Hitchin got back in track with a comfortable win against a Leighton side that has lost its last five games.

The Canaries were rarely troubled by Leighton, who were just the sort of outfit Hitchin needed to play ahead of their big clash with Bury. Recent performances have been patchy, suggesting that Colin Payne's men are suffering from promotion nerves, so this workout, described by Payne as "professional", was just enough to keep Hitchin upbeat before the trip to Bury St. Edmunds.

Payne rang a few changes, bringing Luke Donnelly into the centre for midfield and restoring Harry Hunt and Zak Burke to the starting line-up and putting new signing John Munday on the bench.

The game started slowly, like many in recent weeks, but it was a three-goal salvo in a nine minute spell that changed the first half. In the 15th minute, Tony Fontenelle opened the scoring, drilling a low shot into the net from 25 yards.

Four minutes later, Jamie Arlick glanced home a header from Zak Burke's corner.

And in the 23rd minute, Harry Hunt completed the scoring when he was set up by the impressive Ieuan Lewis and netted his first goal in five games. Leighton's Ben Porter had two chances well saved by Martin Bennett, but there was little threat from the visitors.

Hitchin wasted a hatful of chances in the second half. Lewis threaded the ball through the Leighton defence, but Arlick blasted prematurely high. And from another cross by Lewis, Hunt volleyed just over. Burke also went close, sending  low shot goalwards which Lee Clark saved.

Colin Payne felt the scoreline could have been more convincing. "We had our chances, but didn't take them. This was a tricky fixture for us but we did the work in the first half. We switched Ieuan [lewis] to the opposite wing and they couldn't deal with him."

Hitchin Town (3)3 Leighton Town (0)0

1-0 Fontenelle 15; 2-0 Arlick 19; 3-0 Hunt 23

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Fontenelle (Munday 85), Williams, Smith, Gilbert, Lewis, L.Donnelly, Arlick (Lee 85), Hunt (Howell 73), Burke
Leighton: Clark, Deeney, Scott, Cashman, McNulty (McFarlane 90), Deaton, Hatch, Porter, Gallant, Walker (Hallford 66), Goss (Garcia 36)

Attendance: 325 (half a dozen from Leighton)

Referee: M. Eva

To see a photo gallery of this game, click here

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