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Hitchin Town 0 Wealdstone 0

Saturday, August 8 2009

Burke goes sprawlingHitchin Town’s management team was pleased with the way the Canaries fought out a draw against Ryman Premier Wealdstone in their final pre-season friendly.

Somebody forgot to tell Wealdstone that the game was just that, however. In a bad tempered first half, the Stones adopted an aggressive stance that should have seen a plethora of red cards.

Long before skipper James Gray was red carded, Wealdstone should have lost at least one other man, and the ugly street-fighter’s brawl just before the interval was more akin to a Sunday morning than a game between two senior clubs.

Fortunately, there were other talking points for the 178 crowd. In the first half, Wealdstone struck the woodwork twice, former Arlesey front man Jamie Osborne first off and then Marvin McKoy, another of the culprits. McKoy should have received his marching orders when he decided to kick the prostrate Steve Velandia midway through the first half.

Hitchin also had their chances in the opening period, the impressive Zak Burke going close twice and Jamie Arlick denied by goalkeeper Luke Woods. The half ended in some disarray, though, with Gray reaping the benefit of an early shower after he viciously head-butted Velandia.

The second half was distinctly calmer, Danny Spendlove sending a free kick just wide and then Lee Chappell sending his shot onto the roof of the Hitchin net. At the other end, Luke Donnelly saw his header saved by Woods.
Hitchin had a let off when Chappell hit the bar with a deflected effort, but within seconds, the Canaries could have won the game when they were awarded a penalty.

Brett Donnelly, who had been on the pitch little over a minute, sent a tame spot-kick into the arms of Woods.

Hitchin: Bennett, Payne (Grinham h/t), Reece, Lee, Smith, Gilbert, Lewis, L.Donnelly, Arlick (Hammond 65), Velandia (Thompson 44), Burke (B.Donnelly 75)



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