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Hitchin Town 6 Cirencester Town 2

Saturday, August 27 2011

Hitchin Town are settling in nicely – that was the message from Top Field as the Canaries trounced Cirencester Town to the tune of 6-2.


3- Burke has two attempts
12- Frendo sets up Lewis who scores 1-0

35- Frendo’s shot is parried to Lewis, who grabs his second 2-0

51- Frendo flicks home from close range after Cole cross 3-0

54- Frendo’s powerful shot is parried into the net by Greaves 4-0
61- Frendo scores from the penalty spot 5-0

75- Murphy forces the ball home after Bennett fails to clear 5-1

80- Edgerley scores from 20 yards 6-1
85- Westlake nets from close range 6-2

Weather: Wet
Pitch: Very greasy
Attendance: 312

 It says a lot about the rising standards at Top Field that manager Carl Williams was not cartwheeling after his side’s six-goal performance against Cirencester. Williams grimaced that the visitors were allowed two late goals as the Canaries took their foot – and concentration -  off the pedal. But it was broad smiles elsewhere as Hitchin regulars enjoyed the sight of their team making themselves at home in the Premier Division.

There are similarities between the Hitchin of the early 1990s and this team. For a start, there is remarkable consistency and continuity to compare to Andy Melvin’s side that bedded in impressively in the 1993-94 season. Then there is the surfeit of quality strikers – for Williams, Conroy and Marshall, read Frendo, Burke, Anderson and Arlick. And finally there is Williams himself, who like Melvin in 1993, is a relative newcomer to management.

Frendo laid claim to be compared with the best strikers the club has ever fielded. He netted a hat-trick in an 11 minute second half spell, taking his record at the club to 38 goals in 38 games – not only can he score goals, but his mere presence lifts the Hitchin team to new heights.

From the start, Hitchin were on top. Zak Burke almost opened the floodgates in the third minute when he had two attempts that firstly brought a fine save out of Danny Greaves and then from the rebound, the ball flew wide of the target. But in the 12th minute, Frendo created the first goal,  threading the ball wide to Ieuan Lewis, who outpaced Andy Gunn and wasted no time in blasting into the net from 10 yards.

Frendo was not the only one on form, for Mitchell Cole, returning to the side, tormented the Cirencester defence on a number of occasions. From one of his runs to the byline, he gave the ball to Frendo who teed-up Louis Lee. Somehow, Lee could not get his footing right and no real connection was made.

Cole and Frendo linked up against in the 35th minute to create the second goal. The former Stevenage man went on a sortie to the byline again, pulled the ball back and Frendo’s volley was parried by Greaves. Lewis followed up to score his second goal – a rare feat for the wideman.

Tom Pepper could have made things worse for Cirencester but his run ended with a powerful drive feet, rather than inches, wide.

The second half was undeniably the Frendo show. In the 51st minute, Cole (again) took the ball to the byline, rolled his cross into the six yard box and Frendo flicked it home.

In between his first and second goals, however, Dean Gilbert pulled off an excellent goalline clearance to prevent Jamie Reid from scoring.

Frendo’s next trick was to demonstrate how powerful his shooting can be. Receiving the ball on the left, just inside the area, he sent in a shot that Greaves got his hand too put could really only help into the net. With 54 minutes gone, you feared for Cirencester.

Seven minutes on, Frendo secured his claims to the ball when he netted from the penalty spot after Zak Burke had been brought down.  An 11 minute hat-trick.

Jerome Anderson came into the action and almost scored the sixth when he outran the Cirencester defence and saw his shot pushed for a corner. But the next goal was Cirencester’s, and it was a sloppy affair. Martin Bennett tried to deal with what looked like a comfortable through ball, but was deceived and David Murphy went in for the tackle and managed to roll the ball into the net.

But Hitchin were not finished and in the 80th minute, Lewis passed to substitute James Edgerley and his low, curling left-foot drive skimmed past Greaves from 20 yards.

The final goal went to Cirencester, however, in the 85th minute. Following a corner, a dozing Hitchin defence allowed Zak Westlake the space to shoot into the net from close range. And that prompted Williams to shake his head. At this stage of the season, he doesn’t have much to complain about…

The teams

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Leach, Stewart, Gilbert, Lee, Lewis, Gregson, Burke (Donnelly 76), Frendo (Edgerley 72), Cole (Anderson 59)
Subs not used: Fontenelle, Adam

Goals: Lewis 12, 25 Frendo 51, 57, 61(pen) Edgerley 80

Cirencester: Greaves, Arndale, Mansell, Westlake, Reid, Gunn, Etheridge (Tambling 65), Mortimer-Jones, Bevan (Stone 55), Murphy, Lock (Dunton 72)

Subs not used: Mayo, Sysum
Goals: Murphy 75, Westlake 85

Referee: D.Avent

Assistants: A.Sage and C.Williams

Waitrose man of the match (as chosen by Matchball Sponsor Roy Izzard)

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