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Hitchin Town 5 Atherstone Town 2

Saturday, October 16 2010

For the third game running, Hitchin Town scored five goals in a league game, this time disposing of an Atherstone side that has now conceded 17 goals in four games. But while the Canaries fans were scouring the record books for the last time this has happened, Hitchin's management were bemoaning the fact that two sloppy goals were conceded.

Canaries keep scoring

Who will beat Hitchin this season? That is the question now being asked as the Canaries extended their goal difference against an Atherstone side that is rapidly becoming cannon fodder. It's a valid enquiry, for on the evidence of the season's first 10 games, the Central Division looks weaker than last season's Midland Division. Last season, despite record league statistics, Bury Town kept pace and eventually clinched the title. At the moment, the Canaries are looking every bit title favourites, although everyone will always caveat their performance with the statement, "it's still early days."

Luke Gregson in action against AtherstoneIndeed, it is, but if Hitchin keep notching up wins like this and score goals in multiples of five, they won't have much to worry about.

It took Hitchin 28 minutes to open the scoring, and it was a scruffy goal to boot. Zak Burke, who was a last minute replacement for Richard Howell who had injured himself in the warm-up, ran to the byline, cross and John Frendo - perhaps more like luck than judgement - turned the ball home.

This opened the floodgates, with Jamie Arlick, Tom Pepper and Zak Burke all threatening to score. But in the 36th minute, Frendo grabbed his second goal, and what a finish it was! A through ball was set up for the Hitchin striker and he wasted no time in shooting past hapless Atherstone keeper Courtney Belford.

Four minutes later, Frendo turned provider as he sent over a deft cross for Arlick to send a textbook header past Belford.

If Beford hadn't acrobatically saved Burke's effort in added time, Hitchin would have gone in at the break four goals to the good.

As often happens, a team that has built up a commanding first-half lead finds it hard to get going after the interval. In fact, it was Atherstone that pulled a goal back in the 58th  minute, a glancing header by James Purlsow - from a free kick- giving Martin Bennett no chance.

But Hitchin regained their momentum and in the 72nd minute, a Carl Williams cross was well controlled by Arlick and he shot into the net from six yards for the Canaries' fourth goal

There was still time for a gem of a goal on 82 minutes. Liam George, who had come on for Frendo earlier,netted with a spectacular free kick from outside the penalty area.
Atherstone scored the final goal of the game on the 87th minute, however. Purslow was the scorer once more, powering his header home from a corner. It left Carl Williams dissatisfied at conceding rwo goals, but it was enough to send Hitchin four points clear at the top.

Hitchin Town (3)5 Atherstone Town (0)2
Frendo 26, 36      Purslow 58, 87
Arlick 40, 72
George 82

Attendance: 313
Referee: L.Forrester

Hitchin Town

Atherstone Town
Martin Bennett
Courtney Belford
Tony Fontenelle
Robbie Banks (y 70)
Tom Pepper
Greg Moseley
Dean Gilbert (*88 Jon Wordsworth)4
Todd Perry
Mark Smith
Adam Wood
Carl Williams (*78 Danny Payne)
Tom Weale
Zak Burke
Tyron Amory (*12 Jamie Newbold)
Luke Gregson
James Purslow
Jamie Arlick
Simeon Smith
John Frendo (*60 Liam George)
Josh Ruff
Ieuan Lewis
Martin Crawford
Liam George (*60)
Jamie Newbold (*12)
Jon Wordsworth (*88)
Jamie Hammersby
Danny Payne (*78)
Gregg Webb
Josh Cooke
Ibrahim Kwegyr

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