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Hitchin Town 2 Daventry Town 0

Saturday, January 15 2011

Judging by the post-match euphoria, this game may have been a genuine defining moment in Hitchin’s season. Everyone at the club saw this fixture as a tough 90 minutes against a team that had the potential to upset the Canaries’ plans.

 And to some extent, they were right. Daventry were tough, Daventry were uncompromising, Daventry were, dare we say, just a little bit agricultural in their outlook. Not an easy team to play against.

You can always tell just how unpleasant an opponent has been by the reaction when a goal finally goes in. When Hitchin netted their first goal, there was absolute elation on the aged wooden terracing.

It took time to break through. The first half was very even and chances were scarce. Hitchin’s first opportunity fell to John Frendo in the 16th minute, a 10 yard drive after a corner was only partially cleared by the Daventry defence. Zak Burke also went close following a good move involving Frendo and Iuean Lewis.

It soon became clear, however, that Hitchin were up against very difficult opponents – possibly the toughest seen at Top Field this season.

The best chance of the first half fell to Burke, who received an inch-perfect ball from Callum Donnelly, turned away from his marker and sent a left-foot shot inches wide.

Almost on the half-time whistle, Daventry’s Tom Berwick had the ball in the net, but the flag was already being waved for offside.

Daventry showed a little more ambition in the early stages of the second half, and Hitchin had to thank goalkeeper Martin Bennett for pulling off a save from the menacing Russell Dunkley. The same two players were involved again on the hour when Bennett dived bravely at the feet of the big forward.

But the game refused to flow smoothly as the half continued to be punctuated by stoppages. 

Hitchin finally broke the deadlock after 79 minutes. They had to work hard for the goal, foraging through a crowded area and when the ball rolled to Richard Howell, his low drive took a deflection and beat Daventry goalkeeper Andy Kemp.

Hitchin almost added a second six minutes from time when Ieuan Lewis cut inside and sent a 20 yard drive against the crossbar.

A second goal did come, however, one minute from the end and it was outstanding. Howell looked to have run out of space but he sent the ball over to Frendo, whose crisp volley gave Kemp no chance.

Twenty-three games unbeaten, 71 goals, crowds returning to the sporting centre of the town….pretty soon, someone is going to make a documentary about Carl Williams and his yellow and green army. Actually, they already have. Watch this space…..

Statistics
Hitchin Town (0)2 Daventry Town (0)0
Howell 79
Frendo 89

Attendance: 463
Referee: A.Serrano


Hitchin Town

Daventry Town
Martin Bennett
1
Andy Kemp
Tony Fontenelle (y 77)
2
Martin Hutchcox  (y77)
Tom Pepper
3
Simeon Williams (*79 Aaron Stringfellow)
Dean Gilbert (y 71)
4
Tom Fountain
John Wordsworth (*60 Mark Smith)
5
Aaron Parkinson
Louis Lee
6
Paul Lamb (*10 Josh Blake y 65)
Richard Howell
7
Ryan Howell
Callum Donnelly
8
Adam Confue
Zak Burke
9
Tom Berwick
John Frendo
10
Russell Dunkley (y 55)
Ieuan Lewis
11
Josh O'Grady (*79 Robert Foster)
Jamie Arlick
s
Aaron Stringfellow (*79)
Luke Gregson
s
Robert Foster (*79)
Mark Smith (*60)
s
Josh Blake (*10)
Danny Payne
s
Joe Mellings
Ryan Haggerty
s




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