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Hitchin Town 1 Biggleswade Town 2

Saturday, March 12 2011

It’s no longer in Hitchin’s hands. Amazingly, agonizingly, Hitchin’s on e-time mighty lead has been eroded so badly, that they are now being cast in the role of underdogs. And it’s not just the title that is now being threatened, but second place also has a question mark against it.

Hitchin go to title favourites Arlesey in midweek and another defeat may place one of Gary King’s hands on the base of the Central Division trophy. But with Daventry Town also closing in on the Canaries, Hitchin have to regain some form quickly if they are to secure, at least, a play-off place.

Biggleswade deserved their victory at Top Field. Urged on by an enthusiastic band of supporters, they outplayed Hitchin for long periods and showed great character in coming from behind to win.

Hitchin even had the advantage of an early lead, but their lack of confidence allowed the Waders back into the game and by the final whistle, they were a distinctly downcast outfit.

Richard Howell’s goal in the third minute , a looping header from a corner, surprised everyone, but it failed to give Hitchin the initiative. Biggleswade, themselves chasing promotion, came back impressively.

A good run by Jon Woolf deserved to be rewarded with a goal  and courtesy of Hitchin’s John Wordsworth, it almost was. By half-time, the only surprise was that the Waders had not levelled the scores.

In fact, it took just over an hour for Biggleswade to equalize and it was a Hitchin old boy that found the net. A high ball was nodded down in the six yard area and Paul Barnes hit the ball first time into the net.

Ten minutes later, Hitchin received another blow. Biggleswade central defender Paul Reynolds was brought down in the area and a penalty was awarded. Woolf, who had been the Waders most dangerous man, took the kick and scored.

Amid the stunned silence, Woolf went from hero to villain in the 80th minute, cycnically scything Ieuan Lewis to the floor and receiving  a red card.

The game played out in staccato fashion, with a series of niggly challenges and exaggerated time-wasting tactics – a growing and irritating trend at Hitchin home games.

But that aside, the Canaries could have few complaints. They go to Hitchin Road as underdogs. But a victory could change all that…

Hitchin Town (1)1 Biggleswade Town (0)2
Howell 3              P.Barnes 62
                          Woolf 72

Attendance: 628
Referee: A.Gillett

Hitchin Town

Biggleswade Town
Martin Bennett
Dean Bull
Tony Fontenelle
Peter Gatti
Tom Pepper (*78 Josh Bickerstaff)
Craig Radcliffe
Dean Gilbert
Mark Webster
John Wordsworth
Paul Reynolds (*85 James Freshwater)
Louis Lee (*64 Luke Gregson) (Y 22)
Steve Smith
Richard Howell (*89 Liam George)
Jon Woolf (y 16, y 80)
Callum Donnelly
Craig Rydeheard
Zak Burke
Paul Barnes (*78 Brett Donnelly)
Jamie Arlick
Steve Gentle
Ieuan Lewis
Ashley Fuller (*84 Kevin Kilroy)
Luke Gregson (*64)
Brett Donnelly (*78)
Josh Bickerstaff (*78 )
Kevin Kilroy (*84)
Carl Williams
Sam Pemberton
Liam George (*64)
Daniel Flack
Jack Nelly
James Freshwater (*85)

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