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Chippenham Town 0 Hitchin Town 1

Saturday, March 17 2012

Hitchin’s Premier Division survival hopes received a major boost with a 1-0 win at Hardenhuish, home of Chippenham.


45- Griffin misses penalty for Chippenham

64- Frendo scores at far post from Donnelly cross 0-1
88- Randhawa sent off for Chippenham

What a crucial win! The Canaries, beaten last week by a struggling team, a result that sent the nerves jangling once more, bounced back with a vital 1-0 success at Chippenham.

Hitchin had to reshuffle their pack with defender Lawrie pulling out due to a family illness. Marc Leach returned to the team and Zak Burke filled a striker’s role after the departure of Inih Effiong.

The game came to life in the closing minutes of the first half. Both sides had carved out half chances in the opening half hour and although Rob Stearn and Nathan Rudge both went close for Chippenham, the Canaries looked comfortable in defence.

Zak Burke tried a lob in the 42nd minute but the ball went wide, but in added time, Chippenham were awarded a penalty for a Luke Gregson handball. Alan Griffin  took the kick and sent his spot kick wide of Martin Bennett’s right hand post.

Chippenham had the upper hand in the opening minutes of the second half and but for a superb goal-line clearance from Tom Pepper, the home side’s Stearn would have scored.

At the other end, though, Hitchin new boy Aaron Morgan almost opened his account with the club when he shot over the bar.

The Canaries took the lead on 64 minutes, Callum Donnelly sent in an inch-perfect cross from the left and John Frendo finished from 15 yards at the far post.

Frendo could have added to Hitchin’s lead on 72 minutes when he was presented with a chance in front of goal. Chippenham goalkeeper Tommy Smith made a mess of trying to control a back-pass and the ball rolled to Frendo, but his shot was wide of the mark.

Chippenham were unable to trouble the Hitchin defence and amid their frustration, full back Mani Randhawa was red-carded for a foul on Pepper.

In fact, Frendo may have made things worse for Chippenham if he took advantage of two late chances. But not for the first time this season, Hitchin’s leading scorer was one of the heroes of the day.

The teams

Chippenham: Smith, Randhawa, Gullick, Harvey, Casey, Rudge, Lye, Stearn, Gilroy (Wickens 70), Griffin, Guthrie Subs not used: Osman, Kite, Tindle, Williams

Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, Pepper, Leach, Gilbert, Donnelly, Lewis, Gregson, Burke, Frendo, Morgan

Subs not used: Williams, Pedrycz, Edgerley, King

Referee: D.Gratton

Assistants: R.Morris & R.Cockle

Attendance:  365

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