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Northwood 0 Hitchin Town 7

Saturday, December 11 2010

Northwood awayRusty? Lacking match practice? Suffering from a break in momentum? Forget it. Hitchin returned to action after a three week break with a vengeance, cruelly punishing a Northwood team that looked like a bunch of hastily assembled strangers.

It took the Canaries just 27 seconds to dispel any misgivings their supporters mioght have had about the enforced lay-off. Ninety minutes later, Hitchin had added seven goals to their already impressive tally and maintained their 10 point lead at the top of the table.

This was finishing at its best and striker John Frendo led the way, with four superbly taken goals, starting with his first, a lob over hapless goalkeeper Charlie Miller. Eight minutes later, Frendo netted with another slick finish after some intricate passing involving Zak Burke. And shortily afterwards, Frendo struck the post with a curling left foot shot.

But Frendo got his hat-trick on 26 minutes when he stooped to head home at the far post after a pinpoint cross from Richard Howell.

Hitchin kept going and on 34 minutes, Louis Lee's deflected shot soared high into the net for the fourth goal. There was slight respite for Northwood when substitute Romaine Walker hit the post, but in the 45th minute, Ieuan Lewis swept the ball into the net after good work by Burke.

Five goals ahead at the interval, Hitchin could have been forgiven for taking life easy in the second half, but within seconds of the restart, Lewis set up substitute Jamie Arlick - the half-time replacement for  the injured Howell  - who shot low into the net.

Arlick had the chance to score again when he stepped up to take a 52nd minute penalty, awarded after Tom Pepper went sprawling in the area, but his kick was tame and easily saved by Miller.

Northwood had their best spell midway through the half, and they had chances through Zac Gill and Walker that should have been converted.
In the 64th minute, Hitchin added another goal, Frendo's delightful chip beating Miller after Pepper slipped the ball through to the eager striker.

There was still 26 minutes to go, and further goals beckoned, but Hitchin eased up although the temptation to push on for double figures must have been strong. But with their best league win since 1994, Carl Williams' men demonstrated it will take a very good side to knock them out of their stride.

Northwood (0)0 Hitchin Town (5)7
                        Frendo 1, 9, 26, 64
                        Lee 34, Lewis 45
                        Arlick 47

Attendance: 168
Referee: C.Evans


Hitchin Town
Charlie Miller
Martin Bennett
Howard Hall
Tony Fontenelle
Ryan Tackley
Tom Pepper
Massih Mirzai (*54 Ikenna Ofoche)
Dean Gilbert
Zac Gill (y52)
Mark Smith
Mark Burgess (y 90)
Louis Lee
Wayne Jackson (y 79)
Richard Howell (*h/t Jamie Arlick)
John Christian
Callum Donnelly (*76 Danny Payne)
Samuel Ntim-Addae (*20 Romaine Walker)
Zak Burke (*54 Luke Gregson)
Charlie Hill (*61 Jamie Lindsay)
John Frendo
Warren Whitely
Ieuan Lewis
Ikenna Ofoche (*54)
Jamie Arlick (*h/t)
Romaine Walker (*20)
Luke Gregson (*54)
Jamie Lindsay (*61)
Carl Williams
Scott Raper
Danny Payne (*76)
Steve Hale
Ryan Haggerty

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