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Ashford Town (Middx) 3 Hitchin Town 0

Saturday, March 19 2011

After the heights of beating Arlesey Town, it was disaster in the Heathrow hinterland - a Tangerine nightmare. One had to blink twice to see if the flock of birds circling the Ashford ground were not in fact vultures waiting to pick over the bones of a Southern League title bid.

Up until now, Hitchin's defeats were narrow and surprising and some might say, very unlucky. Not this one. Ashford were three goals better than Hitchin and deserved their victory.

Carl Williams and co. had a warning earlier in the season when Ashford drew 3-3 at Top Field. And like the first meeting between the two clubs, it was the pace of the front men that caused the trouble.

It didn't take long for Ashford to stamp their authority on the game - just six minutes. Good work down the flank ended with Jim Mann's low cross and Jones Awuah turned the ball home from close range.

Hitchin had the chance to equalise in the 18th minute when Jamie Arlick blasted over when set clear. But Hitchin had a major let off when Isaiah Rankin was set clear but sent his shot wide of the target.

Four minutes into the second half, however, Ashford increased their lead, Awuah shooting home after Martin Bennett appeared to be deceived by the ball.

Again Hitchin hit back and Arlick had two efforts, a header and a volley, that should have done better. Hitchin's misery was compounded in e 63rd minute, however, when Christian Nanetti's chip took a wicked deflection and over Bennett. It could have got even worse when Rankin shot wide for Ashford.

Late in the game Ieaun Lewis saw his shot from just inside the area parried for a corner.

Ashford Town (Middx) (1)3 Hitchin Town (0)0
Awuah 6, 49
Nanetti 63

Attendance: 122

Ashford: McCarthy, Mann, Edusei, Carderton, Jeffreys, Kiffin, Nanetti, Brown (Lawrence 85), Rankin (Taffurelli 90), Kanek, Awuah
Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, Bickerstaff, Gilbert, Wordsworth, Gregson (George 68), Arlick (Williams 61), Lee, Burke, Frendo, Lewis

Referee: R.Jaye

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