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Stourport Swifts 0 Hitchin Town 1

Saturday, September 5 2009

It was a case of “rough and tumble” on the banks of Severn as the Canaries equalled an 81 year-old club record by securing their fifth successive victory. 

Stourport tried their level best to upset the league leaders, opting for intimidatory tactics, but Hitchin kept their calm and came through a very difficult afternoon.

Hitchin wasted no time in taking the lead at a sparsely populated Walshes Meadow, where Hitchin’s supporters outnumbered the home contingent. In the third minute, the ball rolled out from a corner to Luke Donnelly and he sent his shot into the top corner of the net.

Hitchin enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and should have emphasised their superiority. On more than one occasion, Stourport centre forward Wesley Joyce recklessly charged into Hitchin players, incensing the Canaries’ bench. Joyce earned a yellow card and was lucky not to add to his card tally as the game wore on.

Tony Fontenelle and Jeff Hammond had first half chances and Zak Burke struck the woodwork when he cut inside a shot goalwards.

The second period was a scruffy affair, although Jamie Arlick and Hammond, went close, the latter shooting into the arms of keeper Paul Evans after bursting through.

Hitchin rarely threatened after that, and Stourport started to come more into the game. Joyce, who by now had calmed down from his first half activities, headed over from close range, and Hitchin, for a while, looked decidedly shaky.

Louis Lee was brought into the action and his strength and competitiveness added a new dimension to Hitchin’s line-up. But in the final minute, Joyce sent a header against the crossbar – a let-off for Colin Payne’s men.

Stourport Swifts (0) Hitchin Town (1)1
0-1 L.Donnelly 3 mins

Stourport:  Evans, Pattison, Tomkins, Jukes, Wittal-Williams, Jones, Price, Benbow, Joyce, Wood (Lavery 76),  Insall
Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, Grinham, L.Donnelly, Smith, Gilbert, Lewis, Hammond (Williams 76), Arlick (B.Donnelly 69), Velandia (Lee 62), Burke

Referee: J.Sheffield
Attendance: 80

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