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Slough Town 0 Hitchin Town 1

Tuesday, April 20 2010

Hitchin kept their title aspirations alive and at the same time, put in a spanner in the works for Slough's play-off hopes. Both issues look set to be decided on the final day of the season and Hitchin and Slough may be coming face-to-face again next week if the Canaries end up in second place in the table.

On a pitch that resembled a sub-saharan playing surface – dust continuously traced a ladder to the stars -  neither side found it easy to play free-flowing football. Slough may feel they deserved something from the game, but they were kept at bay by a strong defence in which Dean Gilbert and Mark Smith were outstanding.

It was something of a “smash and grab” performed by the Canaries. Their only chance of real not was taken, a 17th minute shot by Ieaun lewis after a good interchange between the Welshman and Harry Hunt.

Earlier, Elliot Buchanan sent a left foot drive wide of the Hitchin goal and it was the same player who threatened Hitchin’s goal when he took advantage of a slip-up and saw his shot deflected for a  corner.

Just before the break, Jamie Arlick saw his shot handballed by Chris Seeby, but Mr Russell refused to be swayed by the appeals.

Slough stepped up the pressure in the second half and a cross by the impressive Stuart Sinclair was met by Simon Martin, but his header was tipped over by Martin Bennett. Martin had another chance when he met a cross by Sweeney but his glancing header lacked power and direction.

In the closing stages, Slough camped in Hitchin’s half and a series of goalmouth scrambles, just visible through the dust, almost yielded a goal, notably when Bennett saved from Seeby.

The final whistle saw Slough’s fans give their side a fond farewell – whatever happens it was their last “home” game of the campaign, but they may still have a say in that second promotion position. As for Hitchin, their 30th win of the season sets them up for a rousing finale, although the smart money remains elsewhere.

Slough Town (0)0 Hitchin Town (1)1

0-1 Lewis 17 mins

Slough: Jackson, Sweeney, Harper (Sippetts 84), A.Martin (Bateman 89), Seeby, Yeboah, Sinclair, Sharif, S.Martin (Sonner 58), Buchanan, Edgeworth
Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, Pepper, Williams, Smith, Gilbert, Lewis, L.Donnelly, Arlick (Stevenson 79), Hunt (Hammond 84), Howell (Burke 74)

Attendance: 307 (60 from Hitchin)
Referee:  G.Russell

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