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Hitchin Town 0 Chippenham Town 0

Saturday, October 29 2011

Hitchin had to thank goalkeeper Martin Bennett for earning them a point against Chippenham Town at Top Field.

11- Mitchell Cole strikes the bar with a corner
39- Griffin is denied by Bennett
55- Bennett again saves from Griffin
90- Gilbert's shot is deflected over the bar

Weather: Dry, sunny, slight wind
Pitch: Firm
Attendance: 345

If Bennett had not been on top form, the Canaries would have lost this game. Defensively, Hitchin performed well against Chippenham, but in midfield and up front, they were still seeking some creativity at the final whistle.

But the first chance of the game fell to Hitchin defender Mitchell Cole, who struck the crossbar with an inswinging corner in the 11th minute. Hitchin had a number of half chances in the first half hour, notably when John Frendo threaded the ball through to Zak Burke, but he was unable to connect.

In the latter stages of the half, Chippenham had the upper hand and should have taken the lead in the 39th minute. A cross from James Guthrie found Alan Griffin in front of goal and his side-footed volley was spectacularly kept out by Bennett.

Bennett was back in action in the 55th minute when Griffin met another teasing cross by Guthrie and Bennett's reflex save kept the ball out.

It wasn't until the 75th minute that another worthwhile chance came, a long range left-footed drive by Iain Harvey that sailed over the crossbar. Four minutes later, Hitchin had their first  chance of the half, Burke running across goal and shooting in the arms of Chippenham goalkeeper Will Puddy.

Hitchin had a late flurry, constantly probing the Chippenham defence, and Dean Gilbert went closing to snatching victory when his shot from just inside the are was deflected over the bar by Griffin.

A fair result? Probably.

The teams

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Leach, Stewart, Gilbert, Donnelly (Anderson 75), Lewis, Gregson, Burke, Frendo, Cole (Lee 56)
Subs: Fontenelle, Arlick,Edgerley

Chippenham: Puddy, Harvey, Tindle, Williams, Casey, Kite, Lye, Stearn (Wilson 70), Powell (Pitcher 82), Griffin, Guthrie
Subs not used: Rudge, Randhawa

Referee: A.Gillett
Assistants: P.Evans & E.Clark

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