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Barton Rovers 2 Hitchin Town 5

Tuesday, November 16 2010

It was a case of Déjà vu at Sharpenhoe Road as Hitchin scored goals aplenty but still extended the hand of generosity to their opponents.  Once again, the Canaries’ superiority was evident from the first whistle, but the scoreline still flattered the home side. Last season, it was 6-3, this year 5-2. It could have been worse for Barton.

John Frendo demonstrated his worth with well taken goals at each end of the game. His first, after 12 minutes was a high and well placed lob that gave goalkeeper Grant Beckwith no chance. Beckwith had a dire first half, stepping in for the injured Richard Wilmot and struggling to fill his gloves. In fact, he was at fault when Hitchin scored again, after 22 minutes. A Richard Howell free kick was fumbled by the hapless keeper and amid a cluster of players, Mark Smith claimed the goal.

Zak Burke was next on the scoresheet. Enjoying his role up front, the winger cut inside and sent a low show wide of Beckwith in the 41st minute. The three-goal lead at the interval suggested Hitchin may run up an even more impressive scoreline than last season, but not for the first time this season, the foot came off the pedal.

Barton pulled a goal back on  54 minutes when former Hitchin youngster Ricky Case ran through and took advantage of some complacency to score. But eight minutes later, Frendo teed up Howell and his low shot – accurate but scarcely powerful – was enough to beat Beckwith.

In the 74th minute, Barton won a penalty when Dean Gilbert upended the ineffective Leon Simpson and from the spot, another Hitchin old boy, Bilal Hassan scored Barton’s second.

Barton had their best spell in the latter stages and there were a few concerns that Hitchin were making the game more difficult by the minute. But in added time, Callum Donnelly played the ball through to Frendo, who slid his shot just inside the post.
Ten points clear again, there is a growing feeling that this should be Hitchin’s year.  But perhaps they need to acquire a more ruthless streak?

Barton Rovers (0)2 Hitchin Town (3)5
Case 54                Frendo 12, 90
Hassan 74 –pen      Burke 41, Howell 62

Att: 214
Referee: P.Forrester

Barton: Beckwith, Maltay, Wilson, York, Andrews, Butler, Peverall (Knight 56), Ojuroke (Kierans 65), Simpson, Hassan, Case (Bull 79)
Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, Pepper, Gilbert, Smith, Lee, Howell, Donnelly, Burke, Frendo, Lewis (George 67)

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