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Hitchin Town 3 Woodford United 0

Saturday, February 27 2010

Not many clubs work as hard as Hitchin at getting games played. At 10am on Saturday, few people would have wagered on this fixture being fulfilled, but not for the first time this season, the groundstaff made sure that the Top Field pitch was playable and on a day when many games became casualties, Colin Payne's men were able to continue their fine run.

Woodford came to Top Field as one of the form sides, indeed their away performances have raised eyebrows these past few weeks, with six consecutive wins. It was, to quote Payne, "a dangerous game" for the Canaries. But they won it emphatically, driven on by Louis Lee, a player who is now making his mark at Hitchin.

Lee scored twice and in the muddy conditions, flourished. He opened the scoring on 26 minutes, when he met a corner with header, only to see it rebound off the crossbar and ultimately return goalwards via his right foot into the back of net. The former Boreham Wood midfielder had almost scored five minutes earlier when his shot was tipped round the post by Matt Finlay.

Just before Lee's goal, Harry Hunt went close, rounding Finlay and seeing his shot cleared off the line by Chris Jackson. It was a trick that Hunt performed several times in the game, and with a little more luck, he would have secured the matchball.

But it was Hunt's partner, Jamie Arlick, who found the net next. In the 58th minute, a cross by Tony Fontenelle was glanced home by the Canaries' centre forward.

Suddenly, space opened up for Hitchin and the speed of Lewis, Hunt and Arlick started to unlock the Woodford defence. As well as Hunt's probing runs and close range shots, Arlick went close after running onto the Richard Howell through ball and shooting wide.

Just as Lee started the scoring, he completed it five minutes from time, sending a 30 yarder screaming into the net that gave Finlay little chance.

Another win, the 19th of the season, and three more points - the only blemish was the news that Burnham had won again. But there were few people in the 341 crowd, not least the 30-odd guest schoolchildren who provided a high-pitched soundtrack to the afternoon, who would bet against Hitchin beating off the challenge of their nearest rivals this season.

Hitchin Town (1)3 Woodford United (0)0

1-0 Lee 26 mins; 2-0 Arlick 58 mins; 3-0 Lee 84 mins

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Fontenelle, Williams, Smith (Stevenson 80), Gilbert, Lewis, Lee, Arlick (Hammond 85), Hunt, Howell (L.Donnelly 85)

Woodford: Finlay, Travers, Kinch, Harris, Jackson, Fountain (Noubissie 74), Parkinson, King, Forinton (Liburd 63), Hawkins, Pearman (Johnson 63)

Attendance: 341
Referee: G. Evetts

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