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Slough Town 1 Hitchin Town 1

Saturday, January 8 2011

Hitchin were held to a 1-1 draw at Holloways Park by 10-man Slough in a game between two of the better sides in the Zamaretto Central Division.

Phipps steals the headlines

A full-blooded game, played between two decent sides ended all-square – a reasonable outcome for the Canaries and one that continued their record-breaking unbeaten run.

Nobody was upset at coming away from Holloways Park with a point, but the game confirmed what many people had felt about the “home” side – Slough are one of the better teams and should be up in the play-off zone at the end of the season.

Action at SloughThe game was marred, if that is the right term, by some erratic refereeing. Mr Phipps sent Slough’s Shaun Byrne off and ignored a host of similarly destructive tackles by both sides. Byrne’s tackle appeared dangerous, but he achieved folk-hero status as he trooped off, applauded by the Slough fans. The perverse nature of football coming to the fore!

That incident aside, Slough gave Hitchin a testing afternoon. But it was the Canaries who took the lead after 10 minutes, Mr Phipps awarding a penalty – supposedly for a push – after Hitchin had scored with the advantage. Fortunately, Tony Fontenelle – who scored at Holloways Park from the spot in November – netted the spot kick, his second goal in successive matches.

Hitchin had a purple patch, but John Frendo and Tom Pepper spurned good opportunities. Slough almost levelled when Danny Burnell’s effort looked goalbound, but Pepper cleared off the line. It was no surprise that Slough levelled five minutes before the interval, Simon Martin’s shot-cum-pass reaching Stuart Swift at the far post and his low shot beat Martin Bennett.

Just after the interval, Zak Burke struck the woodwork with a fierce drive that took a slight deflection. In the 55th minute, however, Slough were reduced to 10 men with Byrne’s dismissal. It didn’t seem to make much difference, as the Rebels fought tigerishly for the remaining half hour.

Indeed, when Burnell turned and took a shot at goal, it was only a good save by Bennett that prevented Slough going ahead. Hitchin also had chances, though and Jamie Arlick just failed to connect after a good run by Burke. Fontenelle, with an angled drive, and Frendo’s close range effort also threatened to give Hitchin the win. But in the dying seconds, it could have been celebration time for Slough but for a goal-line clearance.

Hitchin won’t have many more difficult fixtures in the second half of the season – watch Slough, that is the message from this game!

Slough Town (1)1 Hitchin Town (1)1
Swift 40             Fontenelle 10

Att: 346
Referee: Mr Phipp

Slough TownHitchin Town
Charlie Fanner1Martin Bennett
Simon Sweeney2Tony Fontenelle
Danny Murphy3Tom Pepper
Shaun Byrne (r 55)4Dean Gilbert
Steve Perkins5John Wordsworth  (y 67)
Chris Seeby6Louis Lee
Steve Sinclair (*Adam Logie 76)7Richard Howell (*Jamie Arlick 67)
Paul Coyne (y 43)8Callum Donnelly
Danny Burnell9Zak Burke
Simon Martin (*Sean Sonner 65)10John Frendo
Stuart Swift (*Ben Porter 87)11Ieuan Lewis
Adam Logie (*76)sJamie Arlick (*67)
Sean Sonner (*65) (y 90)sLuke Gregson
Ben Porter (*87)sCarl Williams
Chris HerronsDanny Payne
Garry SippettssRyan Haggerty

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