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Uxbridge 1 Hitchin Town 0

Saturday, March 5 2011

In the distance, planes were taking off at nearby Heathrow Airport. But for Hitchin, it was something of a crash landing at the Honeycroft, home of Uxbridge. For the first time since 2008-09 season, the Canaries have lost two consecutive games and this defeat, coming just days after Barton won at Top Field, was their first away from home in a year.

What has gone wrong? It’s hard to pinpoint it. Two key players have been missing in John Frendo and Tom Pepper. The team is not playing with the same swagger in recent weeks. And to make matters worse, rivals Arlesey and Daventry have eroded Hitchin’s advantage.

Confidence has also been chipped away in recent weeks, but there is still time for Carl Williams and his team to regain their composure. Certainly the Canaries deserved to get something from this game and it was a cruel penalty, in the 87th minute, that decided it.

Hitchin survived an early scare but should have scored when Ieaun Lewis saw his shot pushed over by Uxbridge keeper Michael Piwonski. Jamie Arlick also went close when his effort was blocked by Piwonski and then Zak Burke’s good run ended with a shot wide. But at the opposite end, Martin Bennett denied Craig Tomkins with a good save.

Callum Donnelly had the opportunity to put Hitchin ahead in the 48th minute when he received a pass across field from Burke, turned and shot into Piwonski’s arms. But chances were rare for the Canaries, who became somewhat shot-shy after repeated onslaughts on the Uxbridge goal. Plenty of possession, lots of passing, but the final ball lacked conviction – a sign of dwindling confidence.

In the latter stages, Uxbridge discovered some ambition and Bennett had to pull off a spectacular save from Stuart Farrell. With three minutes remaining, a cross by Hussein Warsame struck the arm of Lewis and the referee awarded a penalty. By the letter of the law, he was probably right in his decision, but Lewis had little chance to avoid the cross and it was clearly “ball to arm”. Uxbridge skipper David Thomas took the kick and Hitchin were beaten.

Calm nerves are needed in the weeks ahead – the sort that can land aeroplanes, perhaps….

Uxbridge (0)1 Hitchin Town (0)0
Thomas-pen 87
Attendance: 157
Referee: D.Avent


Hitchin Town
Michael Piwonski
Martin Bennett
Mo Hashi (y54)
Tony Fontenelle
David Thomas
Josh Bickerstaff
Rob Fitzgerald
Dean Gilbert (y28)
Mark Dennison
John Wordsworth
Tommy Howe (*63 Danny Julienne)
Louis Lee (*74 Luke Gregson)
Andre Costa
Richard Howell
Kevin Warner
Callum Donnelly
Stuart Farrell
Zak Burke
Hussein Warsame
Jamie Arlick (*68 Jordan Patrick)
Craig Tomkins
Ieuan Lewis
Gavin Brown
Luke Gregson (*74)
Danny Julienne (*63)
Carl Williams
James Walters
Jack Nelly

Jordan Patrick (*68)

Liam George

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