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Bedford Town 1 Hitchin Town 3

Monday, August 29 2011

Hitchin made it a 100% Bank Holiday weekend with a fine win at local rivals Bedford Town. More than 500 people saw the Canaries movd up to sixth place in the table.

2- Mitchell Cole runs onto a through ball and scores despite Ian Brown’s efforts to stop him 0-1
20- Drew Roberts levels after a counter-attack 1-1
48- Frendo sets up Zak Buke, who shoots home 1-2
89- Jerome Anderson and Burke combined to create a chance for Frendo 1-3

Weather: Grey, chilly
Pitch: Firm
Attendance: 512

Something is definitely stirring. Hitchin pulled off another victory, in impressive fashion, against local rivals Bedford and underlined the potential of a vibrant team that is growing in confidence by the game.

From start to finish, Hitchin looked far more accomplished and confident than their hosts. What was even more satisfying for the Canaries was beating a team that contained players who had either walked out on the club or defected for financial reasons or supposed career advancement.

For much of the 90 minutes, however, Bedford competed, with a worthy former Hitchin player, Graham Clark, showing what the club may have missed. Clark, and the pocket battleship that is Drew Roberts were Bedford’s most determined performers.

Hitchin took the lead after less than two minutes, Mitchell Cole running on to a ball by John Frendo and his shot was partially blocked by goalkeeper Ian Brown before rolling into the net.

From that point, Bedford got back into the game with Roberts causing problems for the Hitchin defence.

On 20 minutes, Roberts equalized for Bedford after a counter-attack that sparked a sweeping move involving Manny Richardson. He played the ball out to Roberts and he shot past Martin Bennett from 15 yards. Richardson almost put Bedford ahead just before the interval, but the home side’s threat was extinguished during the half-time interval.

Zak Burke was denied by Ian Brown in early seconds of the second half, but in the 48th minute, Burke restored Hitchin’s lead, a low drive after Frendo had sent a laser-like ball in his path.

Frendo could have added a third when he ran onto Tom Pepper’s low cross that rolled to the far post, but saw his shot was cleared off the line by Clark.

Bedford had their chances, however, and a double save from Bennett denied James Faulkner and Roberts.

But Frendo was a constant problem for the Bedford defence and only a Brown tip-over prevented him from scoring with a long range shot.

Frendo wasn’t the only danger, though. Burke, playing his 100th game for Hitchin, saw his low cross-cum-shot fumbled by Brown.

With two minutes remaining, Burke cleverly set-up Jerome Anderson and his low ball across goal was turned in by Frendo.  It was no more than Hitchin deserved.

“That’s the best Hitchin team I’ve ever seen,” said one New Eyrie regular. A bold statement, but this team is growing in stature by the week. Charlie Williams may just be onto something….

The teams

Bedford: Brown, Clark, Simpson (Ducket 57), Thorne, Hoyte, Beech (York 76), Price, Richardson, Faulkner, Roberts, Lewis (York 63)
Subs not used: Darby, Hall

Goal: Roberts 20

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper (Fontenelle 76), Leach, Stewart, Gilbert, Lee, Lewis, Gregson, Burke, Frendo, Cole (Anderson 64)
Subs not used: Donnelly, Edgerley, Adam

Goals: Cole 2, Burke 48, Frendo 88

Referee: R.Earl
Assistants: G.Marosca & N.Phillips

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