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Hitchin Town 9 Soham Town Rangers 1

Monday, January 3 2011

John Frendo scores Hitchin's second goalAnyone expecting Hitchin to be a little rusty after weeks of inactivity was soon put right: the momentum continues. The New Year got off to a perfect start with Hitchin’s biggest league win since January 1991, a similar scoreline against Worthing.

The win sent Hitchin 13 points clear at the top of the Zamaretto Central Division and added another eight goals to an already incredible goal difference. With nearest challengers Arlesey dropping points at Biggleswade, this was a good day’s work for Carl Williams’ men. It was also a red letter day for striker Zak Burke, who netted four goals, the second Hitchin player to achieve that feat in the past month.

It was defender Tony Fontenelle who put Hitchin ahead in the 15th minute and the amount of time and space he was allowed should have hinted at the defensive frailties of the visitors. He ran 25 yards with the ball, cut inside and trickled the ball in the net from just inside the penalty area.

At this point, though, Soham were still in the game but six minutes from the interval, John Frendo added a second goal, following a long ball and winning possession before shooting wide of hapless goalkeeper Daniel Bircham.

Just before the interval, Hitchin extended their lead further when Tom Pepper crossed from the byline and Zak Burke swept the ball into the net.

Soham pulled a goal back a minute into the second half, thanks to a very debatable penalty, netted by Dubi Ogbonna. But it was only a temporary respite for Soham as a four-goal salvo in 10 minutes destroyed any hopes of a comeback.

Burke was next to score, finishing after Ieuan Lewis set him up in the 56th minute. Four minutes later the two players combined once more, with Burke firing home from six yards. In the 61st minute, Richard Howell finished another sweeping move to make it 6-1.
Time after time, Hitchin’s sorties down Soham’s right hand flank threatened to add more goals, and in the 65th minute, it became reality once more, Lewis passing inside to Tom Pepper who shot past Bircham.

Hitchin were not finished. Burke secured his fourth of the game in the 69th minute thanks to Frendo’s lay-off and six minutes from the interval, substitute Jamie Arlick shot home after Frendo  had been denied.

With double figures beckoning, the Hitchin bayed for more – “we want 10” – and it almost came when Howell struck the woodwork.

What can you say about such an emphatic scoreline? Hitchin’s football, at times, was breathtaking, their finishing sublime. They are still unbeaten – not other Hitchin team has turned the corner with a big zero in the “L” column. Something very sinister would need to happen to stop this team from reaching its holy grail. Soham were certainly incapable of being the first to lower their colours.

Statistics
Hitchin Town (3)9 Soham Town Rangers (0)1
Fontenelle 15       Ogbonna (pen) 46
Frendo 39
Burke 45, 56, 60, 69
Howell 61
Pepper 65
Arlick 84

Attendance: 408
Referee: J.Mellor

Hitchin TownSoham Town Rangers
Martin Bennett1Daniel Bircham
Tony Fontenelle (*Danny Payne 76)2Alex Austin
Tom Pepper (y75)3Will Seymore (*Josh Turner 61)
Dean Gilbert4Andrew Coleman (y 33, r 45)
Mark Smith5Lewis Carr
Louis Lee6Michael Simpson
Richard Howell7Deakan Napier (*Sean Lines 72)
Callum Donnelly (*Luke Gregson 68)8Scott Carter
Zak Burke9Luke Hipwell (*Rogan McGeorge 56)
John Frendo10Dubi Ogbonna
Ieuan Lewis (*Jamie Arlick 68) (y 38)11Declan Rogers
Jamie Arlick (*68)sSean Lines (*72)
Luke Gregson (*68)sJosh Turner (*61)
Danny Payne (*76)sSam Mason-Smith
John Wordsworth sJoe Stroud
Ryan HaggertysRogan McGeorge (*56)



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