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Hitchin Town 5 Bedfont Town 1

Saturday, April 9 2011

Bedfont at homeWhen Richard Howell netted Hitchin’s fifth and final goal of the game it was the Canaries’ 100th league goal of the season – the first time since 1931 that they had reached that landmark.

This was an emphatic scoreline, but the 100th goal only served to remind people what might have been this season. But at least manager Carl Williams has got the goal touch back, which will be vital as Hitchin prepare for those inevitable play-offs.

 A plus for Williams was the form of Zak Burke and John Frendo, both scoring two apiece as the Canaries rediscovered some of their verve. It was Frendo who opened the scoring after 28 minutes, tapping home after Burke had unselfishly played the ball across goal.

But Hitchin were not at their best in the first half and it was no surprise when Bedfont – who arrived as one of the form sides in the Central Division – levelled on 38 minutes. A low ball into the near post by Ryan Lake was met by Lee Scott, giving Martin Bennett little chance.

Meaningful discussions at half-time proved fruitful as Hitchin had a meaner look in the second period.  In the 53rd minute, Frendo’s determined run into the area, brushing aside a persistent defender, ended with a low shot wide of Gary Ross and just inside the post to restore Hitchin’s lead.

Four minutes later, Burke took advantage of a defensive lapse to shoot home Hitchin’s third goal.

Bedfont had an excellent chance to pull a goal back when Kemo Maphela’s shot was acrobatically pushed aside by Bennett, but Hitchin continued to go in search of goals and in the 71st minute, they scored again. Ieuan Lewis started a good passing movement and Burke, selling dummies by the second, virtually walked the ball into the net.

At this point, Williams took the opportunity to save his strikers for the battles ahead. This meant than when the Canaries were awarded a 76th minute penalty after Richard Howell was brought down, it was he that took the kick to make it 5-1.

Somebody quipped that this didn’t feel like a 5-1 win. It wasn’t so much that Hitchin were not four goals better than their opponents, it was more that there was little in the way of euphoria. Although a welcome return to form, Hitchin fans may just have be reminiscing that earlier in the season, such scorelines were commonplace. And they will surely hope this win signals the start of a run that will end on May Bank Holiday with the right result…

Statistics
Hitchin Town (1)5 Bedfont Town (1)1
Frendo 28,53       Scott 38
Burke 57, 71
Howell 76-pen

Attendance: 374
Referee: P.Upton

Hitchin Town

Bedfont Town
Martin Bennett
1
Gary Ross
Tony Fontenelle
2
Joseph Ataro
Josh Bickerstaff
3
Ryan Lake
Dean Gilbert
4
Matt O'Brien
John Wordsworth
5
James Ward
Louis Lee (*13 Danny Payne)
6
Jon-Barrie Bates
Richard Howell
7
Carl McCluskey
Callum Donnelly
8
Wayne O'Sullivan
Zak Burke (*74 Liam George)
9
Lee Scott
John Frendo (*71 Jamie Arlick)
10
Glenn Garner (*78 Daniel Coroni)
Ieuan Lewis
11
Gavin Hart (*60 Kemo Mephali)
Jamie Arlick (*71)
s
George McCluskey
Danny Payne (*13)
s
Steve Honey
Luke Gregson
s
Kemo Mephali (*60)
Liam George (*74)
s
Daniel Corani (*78)
Carl Williams
s
Fergus Moore







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