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Hitchin Town 3 Dunstable Town 4

Wednesday, July 20 2011

Seven goals suggested a thriller at Top Field, but Hitchin were left a little red-faced after being beaten 3-4 by Spartan South Midlands League side Dunstable Town.

34 – Former Hitchin midfielder Dean Brennan scores from the rebound after Bennett saves 0-1
43 -  Burke tees up Fontenelle, but his shot is parried by Taylor to Frendo, who shoots home 1-1
57 – Preston scores for Dunstable 1-2
64 -  Arlick slips in from close range 2-2
72 -  Preston scores from the penalty spot 2-3
78 -  Good turn and shot by Frater extends Dunstable’s lead 2-4
84 -  Frendo sets-up Arlick, who scores his second 3-4

Weather: Grey
Pitch: Firm

Attendance: 118

After two games against more senior opposition, the real pre-season kicked in with a difficult game against a motivated Dunstable side. It was difficult to get the crowd motivated, however, as just 118 turned up to witness a game that, at times, resembled a training session. But the quality of some of the goals did enough to keep the faithful awake.

Hitchin fans caught a glimpse of Dean Brennan, one of the most talented players to represent the club in recent years. Now approaching the greying stage of his career, Brennan showed enough of his often sublime skills and scored a goal to give the visitors the lead.

Two minutes from the interval, Hitchin equalised with a fine finish from John Frendo, who smashed the ball past Paul Taylor – another ex-Canary, albeit very fleetingly. Taylor had pulled off an excellent save from Tony Fontenelle after being set up by Zak Burke.

Dunstable kept going ahead, however, and some lack-lustre defending handed them another goal, scored by Russell Preston. Jamie Arlick scored another good goal when he netted from close range, but a penalty – converted by Preston -  restored the Dunstable advantage.

Nathan Frater – guess what?, another former Hitchin man – produced a balletic turn before shooting Dunstable further in front, before Arlick rifled past Taylor after good work by Frendo.

Taylor pulled off a trio of saves as time ran out, but Dunstable were good value for their win. And at just £5, the crowd got their money’s worth.

The teams
Bennett, Pepper, Bickerstaff, Stewart (Fontenelle 36), Leach, E’Beyer, Donnelly (Osbourne 60), Lee, Burke (Arlick 60), Frendo, Payne (Lewis h/t)
Dunstable (squad): Taylor, Burgoyne, Boyce, Moss, L.Gentle-King, Brennan, Cooper, Martin, Cooper, Martin, Clarke, Preston, Pickering, Judge, Dogbe, Newman, N.Frater, Reynolds, Spicer

Referee: C.O’Donnell
Assistants: P.Wilkinson, J.Aldous

Mark Burke (Hitchin Town Asst Manager):
“These are the games where you learn things about your players.”

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