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Arlesey Town 0 Hitchin Town 0

Monday, December 26 2011

Like a day-old glass of champagne, this Boxing Day clash lacked any sort of fizz and left the 500-plus crowd decidedly unfulfilled.

The last time these two clubs met, there was possibly too much passion, but this time there was a distinct lack of vim and vigour about the two teams. If Hitchin had netted the dubious penalty they were awarded late in the game, it would have been different, but a draw was just about right. A point apiece in their struggle to stay relegation-zone free.

The first half was positively dreadful with the crowd wondering why they had bothered to break free of the festivities to see what many felt would be an intriguing local derby. 

Hitchin’s John Frendo had the best chance of the half, sending a Callum Donnelly cross just wide.  The first half was characterized by long-balls aplenty and misplaced passes.

The second half was little better. But Arlesey went close to scoring when former Canaries striker Chris Dillon meat an Aston Goss cross and sent a header against the woodwork. It was a let-off for Hitchin, but Martin Bennett’s goal was rarely threatened for the r
 est of the game.

Not that the Arlesey goal was in much danger, either. A Donnelly shot was fumbled by Arlesey keeper Mark Osborn and looked like it had been carried over the line, and a long-range effort from Luke Gregson was rifled into the side-netting.

Hitchin were handed, rather fortunately, the chance to snatch victory when they were awarded a penalty in the 74th minute. Cameron Mawer was adjudged to have impeded Inih Effiong as the ball was played into his path. Effiong went down and Mawer, who had spent most of the game berating officials, was red-carded. Both decisions were perhaps harsh, but Mawer is a player that seems to court controversy.  Frendo’s kick, not one of his best, was easily saved by Osborn.

The incident seemed to kill the rest of the game, although Dillon went close with a volley that Bennett saved. Honours even, but a little bit more blood and thunder would have enticed people back beyond the holiday season!


52- Arlesey’s Chris Dillon hits the post

75- John Frendo misses a penalty

75- Arlesey’s Cameron Mawer sent off

Weather: Mild, dry

Pitch: Bumpy, slightly muddy

Attendance: 526

The teams

Arlesey: Osborn, Deeney, Mawer, Frater, Brown, S.Sinclair, Goss, Allinson (Bailey 88), Dillon, D.Sinclair, Marsh (Bufano 80)

Bennett, Fontenelle, Pepper, Stewart, Gilbert, Lee, Donnelly, Gregson, Effiong (McAdams 75), Frendo, Burke (Anderson 63)

Referee: T.Rogers

Assistants: J.LLorente & N.Phillips

Photo: Martin Annetts

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