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Hitchin Town 1 Bedford Town 3

Monday, January 2 2012

The Canaries were outclassed by Bedford in a fast-flowing local derby that was all but over by half-time.

14– Frendo puts Hitchin ahead 1-0

19- Hoyte powerfully heads Bedford level 1-1
24- Thorne cross and Hatch sends a spectacular overhead kick past Bennett 1-2
37- Thorne scores after Bennett drops high ball 1-3
56- Thorne hits woodwork

61- Roberts hits the Barr

Weather: Dry, sunny, cold
Pitch: Firm
Attendance: 597

Sometimes, you have to hold your hand up and say, “fair cop….you deserved that one”, and that’s exactly what Hitchin had to do on the first afternoon of 2012. There was no getting away from it. Bedford deserved to win this local derby and but for the woodwork’s intervention, they would have won it even more convincingly.

Glance at the teamsheets and you find the answer to the conundrum. Brown between the sticks, Hoyte in defence, Thorne in midfield and Hatch and Roberts up front. Hitchin’s had little in responding to these individuals.

And that was after taking the lead on 14  minutes. A corner from Callum Donnelly arrived in the six yard box and John Frendo produced the sort of turn that would win ballroom dancing medals to score witb a low shot.

Hitchin were not ahead for long, for in the 19th minute, Gavin Hoyte powered home a header to level the scores. Five minutes later, Hitchin were all a sea as Bedford took the lead, Ollie Thorne crossing and James Hatch acrobatically netting with a quite outstanding overhead quick.

There was little time for Hitchin to mount a recovery, as shellshocked as they were, but in the 37th minute it got worse. Martin Bennett fumbled a high ball and it ran to Thorne, who  gratefully accepted receipt and rolled his shot into the net.

Hitchin should be grateful for the width of their woodwork, for without  that substantial lick of paint, they may have found themselves even further behind. A surging run from Thorne ended with a 25 yard howitzer, but the ball hit the upright of post and goal. Five minutes later, Drew Roberts, from the right, sent a cross-cum-shot (suspected audacious shot) against the top of the crossbar.

Hitchin had little in the way of response, athough two Burke efforts went close to reducing the deficit.  The scoreline was just about right, not a great way to start 2012.

The teams

Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, Pepper, Stewart, Gilbert, Donnelly, Lewis (McAdams h/t), Gregson, Effiong (Burke h/t), Frendo, Anderson (King 70)
Subs not used: Leach, Ann

Goal: Frendo 14

Bedford: Brown, York Simpson, Darby, Hoyte, Thorne (Ivy 82), Damon (Coly 63), Beech, Hatch, Roberts, Price (Hall 82)
Subs not used: Cooper, Kavanagh

Goals: Hoyte 19, Hatch 24, Thorne 37

Referee: S.Pawley
Assistants: A.Bent & V.Byatt

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