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Frome Town 0 Hitchin Town 0

Saturday, February 18 2012

After an enforced lay-off that included two blank Saturdays, Hitchin scrambled a point from their first ever visit to Frome Town.

16- Martin Bennett pulls off point blank save from Matt Smith

28- Bennett saves at the feet of Mike Perrott
87- Bennett saves from Michael Reaney

Pitch: Very sticky

Weather: Rain, cold and sunshine
Attendance: 186

 It was one of those days when it was hard going being a Hitchin fan. Frome v Hitchin was not what one would call a spectator event. The pitch was awful, the weather unpleasant – although admittedly, that improved – and the game was best described as uninteresting. But at least there was a game.

Hitchin should have carried Martin Bennett from the Aldersmith Stadium on their shoulders. If not for the popular “Benno”, Hitchin would have gone in at half-time at least two goals down.

Frome mastered the conditions far better than Hitchin, but then they should have on their own ground. Bennett pulled off the first of a handful of superb stops in the 16th minute, a point blank save from Matt Smith.

Then Bennett prevented an Alex Lapham volley from finding the net and bravely dived at the feet of Mike Perrott. Bennett’s virtuoso performance also earned him an injury when he came out to stop an attack, much to the disgust of the rustic home crowd who bayed for blood and demanded that Bennett be awarded a BAFTA or similar objet d’art for his reaction.

Amid good natured bear-baiting from West Country folk in the second period, Hitchin improved, but struggled to test Darren Chitty in the Frome goal.

Hitchin’s best opportunity fell to Tom Pepper, who saw his long-range shot saved by Chitty. Good runs by Zak Burke and Colby McAdams deserved more than they delivered, but the glue-like surface and a crowded penalty area meant that hard work came to nothing.

Although Hitchin had the better of the closing stages, Bennett once more rescued his team in added time when he dived full length to save from Michael Reaney.

The Teams

Frome: Chitty, Cooper, Reaney, Flockton, Bennett, Lapham, Smith, D.Evans (Benison 82), Hulbert (Ledgister 69), Perrott (Ballinger 73), Thomson Subs not used: T.Evans, Quelch

Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, Pepper, Stewart, Gilbert, Lee, Burke, Donnelly, Effiong (McAdams 58), Frendo, Lewis
Subs not used: Leach, Gregson, King, Edgerley

Referee: A.Newell
Assistants: R.Goodwin & M.Dadds

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