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Hitchin Town 2 Arlesey Town 0

Monday, April 9 2012

A goal in each half was enough to beat a fractious Arlesey Town side at Top Field in the big Easter derby match.


24- Arlesey’s Chris Dillon misses a penalty
39- Callum Donnelly heads Hitchin in front 1-0

71- John Frendo scores from the spot 2-0

Weather: Damp
Pitch: Greasy

Attendance: 514

Photo by Martyn AnnettsHitchin crept up to 11th place after beating their neighbours at Top Field in a game that was “a tale of two penalties”.

If Arlesey had scored their 24th minute penalty, the result might have been different, but in truth the Blues rarely looked like threatening Martin Bennett’s goal. Hitchin, however, scored their spot-kick and sealed the points.

While the victory eases any lingering doubts about Hitchin’s own safety, Arlesey may just be a little more nervous about their own chances.

The early exchanges suggested a tight game, with John Frendo going close for the home side and Joel Mason shooting wide for Arlesey.

But in the 24th minute, Arlesey were given the chance to go ahead when Bennett brought down Chris Dillon and the much-travelled frontman sent his penalty against the woodwork.

From that point, Hitchin had the upper hand and in the 39th minute, Callum Donnelly – the smallest player on the pitch, headed home at the far post after good work by Frendo and Tony Fontenelle.

Both Frendo and Fontenelle both had chances to increase that lead, but after their let-off, the Canaries were content to be command at the interval.

They lost some of their rhythm in the second half but Arlesey’s attack failed to seriously trouble the Hitchin defence. Once Hitchin recovered their composure, there were further chances for Zak Burke, who shot into the side-netting and then produced his customary move to cut inside and drive wide. Arlesey’s response was a header by Derek Brown from a free kick that sailed over the bar.

In the 71st minute, Hitchin were awarded a debatable penalty when Nick Bussey brought down Donnelly – head and shoulders the most impressive performer on the pitch. Frendo scored from the spot to effectively clinch the points.

In the closing stages, Ieuan lewis and Burke could have made the scoreline more comfortable, but Carl Williams is now eyeing a top half finish to cap what would be a highly satisfactory campaign for the Canaries.

The teams

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Leach, Stewart, Gilbert, Lee, Fontenelle, Donnelly (Gregson 89), Burke, Frendo, Lewis
Subs not used: Pedrycz, Morgan, Edgerley, Williams

Arlesey: Bussey, Browne, Mawer, Frater, Brown, Bailey, Goss, Allinson (Buffano 58), Dillon, Marsh (Constantine 60), Mason
Subs not used: Ann, Tavernier, Cook

Referee: A.Rayner

Assistants: B.Torre & M.Tribe

Photo: Martyn Annetts

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