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Hitchin Town 5 Leighton Town 0

Tuesday, October 5 2010

Hitchin put on their most emphatic performance of the season by trouncing Leighton Town at Top Field. After two successive defeats, the Canaries showed no mercy to the visitors.

Just the right response

The groaners have been urging this all season – a resounding victory that capitalised on the many chances the Canaries create game-by-game. A five-nil win on a Tuesday night was just what manager Carl Williams needed after FA Cup and FA Trophy exits in the same week. Little wonder that Williams was buoyant after the game.

It was a three goal burst in the last 20 minutes that gave the scoreline a healthy look. Prior to that, two scrappy first half goals were all Hitchin had to show for their hard work.

But this game demonstrated the gap between the top and the rest of the league. Leighton arrived at Top Field unbeaten on their travels, but in the entire 90 minutes, they left Hitchin keeper Martin Bennett alone.

They did have the first chance of the game, a Lewis McBride effort that was blasted wide after the Hitchin defence had been split open wide. Then it was Hitchin’s turn, with Jamie Arlick (two headers) and Richard Howell going close.

It was Howell that opened the scoring on 25 minutes, shooting in from close range after a high ball from the flank had caused panic in the Leighton defence and left keeper Sam Leggett floundering.

Four minutes later, it got worse for Leggett as he allowed a Tony Fontenelle cross to slip through his gloves. Arlick stumbled and took the ball into the net to make it 2-0.

Into the second half, Liam George struck a well-placed free kick against the woodwork and Fontenelle nearly dribbled his way into the net with a characteristic run. But it wasn’t until the 69th minute that Dean Gilbert sent a textbook header past Leggett from a George cross.

Tom Mustapha should have netted on 86 when Ieuan Lewis set him up nicely, but the Hitchin substitute was not to be denied and drove home from the edge of the area seconds later.

With almost the last move of the game, Lewis ran into the area and from a tight angle, crossed for Zak Burke to send the ball into the net for goal number five.

Therapy of the highest order, then, for the Hitchin faithful, but Williams is only too aware that there will be tougher tests to come.

Hitchin Town (2)5 Leighton Town (0)0
Howell 25, Arlick 29
Gilbert 69, Mustapha 86
Burke 90

Attendance: 244
Referee: A.Serrano

Hitchin Town

Leighton Town
Martin Bennett
Sam Leggett
Tony Fontenelle
Anthony Moulds
Tom Pepper
Nick McFarlane
Dean Gilbert
Grant Fryer (*79 Jack Copson)
Mark Smith
Sam Chapman
Louis Lee (*72 Luke Gregson)
Stuart Deaton
Richard Howell
Lewis McBride
Callum Donnelly
Jason Darvall (*60 Alex McCarthy)
Jamie Arlick (*80 Tom Mustapha)
Ben Gallant (*69 Aiden Denton)
Liam George (*72 Zak Burke)
James Hatch
Ieuan Lewis
Jake Bewley
Zak Burke (*72)
Aiden Denton (*69)
Tom Mustapha (*80)
Kevin Marsh
Danny Payne
Alex McCarthy (*60)
Luke Gregson (*72)
Jack Copson (*79)
Carl Williams
Charlie Cunningham

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