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Hitchin Town 3 Slough Town 2

Saturday, August 21 2010

Hitchin gained some revenge on Slough for their defeat in the plays-offs in a game that underlined the title credentials of both sides. Just as they did in 2009-10, the Canaries beat the Rebels 3-2 at Top Field.

Canaries show their true colours

 After two relatively lack lustre performances, Hitchin showed they can take on, and beat, the best sides in the Zamaretto Central Division. Very few people don't think both Hitchin and Slough will be among the title chasers and on the evidence of this entertaining 90 minutes, both will be just that. A victory for the Canaries gives them first bragging rights in the battle with a side they will surely have to watch closely all season.

Before anyone gets too carried away, however, Slough played 62 minutes with 10 men after central defender Chris Seeby was red-carded for brining down Tom Mustapha.

At that point Slough were winning 1-0, thanks to a looping header from the smallest man on the pitch, Steve Sinclair, who met a Paul Coyne cross and sent his effort beyond Martin Bennett.

Hitchin responded well, and peppered Slough's goal. But Jamie Jackson pulled off some good saves to keep the home side out.

Seeby's departure changed the game, but not until the latter stages of the first half. A minute from the interval, Zak Burke cut inside and sent a low shot just inside Jackson's right hand post for the equaliser. It was a good time to pull level, and Hitchin had the upper hand come the second period.

Four minutes into the restart, the Canaries went ahead. Tom Pepper's depp cross was headed back by Richard Howell and although Jamie Arlick met the ball and nidged it goalwards, Mustapha rolled it over the line.

Arlick was to have his moment, however, in the 59th minute. Howell, who had a productive second half, sent in a low cross and Hitchin's centre forward drive the ball into the net from six yards.

For a moment, visions of a thumping scoreline materialised, but Slough refused to cave in. In fact, a header from Simon Martin pulled a goal back for the visitors and sent Hitchin nerves jangling.

Both sides could have added more goals, notably when Arlick struck a post and Martin missed a free header for Slough. The final score was just about right, giving Carl Williams' men a valuable win. The return match with Slough will be every bit as interesting.


Hitchin Town (1)3 Slough Town (1)2
Burke 44             Sinclair 12
Mustapha 49        Martin 62
Arlick 59

Attendance: 385
Referee: M.Wilson

Hitchin TownSlough Town
Martin Bennett1Jamie Jackson
Tony Fontenelle2Simon Sweeney
Tom Pepper3Danny Murphy
Jon Wordsworth4Shaun Byrne (*Logie 48)
Dean Gilbert5Chris Seeby (R 28)
Callum Donnelly6Yiadom Yeboah (*C.O'Connor 75)
Richard Howell7Steve Sinclair
Louis Lee (*George 80)8Paul Coyne
Jamie Arlick9Garry Sippetts (*Martin h/t)
Tom Mustapha10Sean Sonner (Y 33)
Zak Burke11Stuart Swift
Carl WilliamssAdam Logie * (Y 78)
Gary DixonsSimon Martin *
Brad HarrisonsCraig O'Connor *
Glen LamacraftsTerry O'Connor
Liam George *sRicky Perks

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