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Redditch United 1 Hitchin Town 4

Saturday, January 7 2012

Hitchin secured their first win of the year in emphatic style, winning 4-1 on their first visit to Redditch United’s Bromsgrove Road stadium.


12- Frendo sets up Donnelly, who chips into the net from 20 yards 0-1

14- Good work by Effiong creates a chance for Frendo, who scores 0-2

37- Halsall pulls a goal back after Bennett stops a diving header from Travis 1-2

45- Frendo scores from the penalty spot 1-3

82- Frendo scores after receiving the ball from Stewart and racing clear to score 1-4

Weather: Dry, grey with some sun

Pitch: Reasonably firm

Attendance: 266

 This should calm the nerves. Canaries fans have been looking at the bottom end of the league table with increasing anxiety in recent weeks. After a disappointing holiday period, Hitchin needed not only a good result, but also an impressive performance. They achieved both at Redditch.

It’s often said that if John Frendo plays well, Hitchin have half a chance, and at Bromsgrove Road,  the talismanic striker was bang on form, netting a hat-trick that takes him to the 20-goal mark for the season.

Hitchin were helped by a two-goal salvo early in the game, and from thereon they rarely looked back. Callum Donnelly scored the opener with a well timed chip in the 12th minute.

Barely two minutes had passed when the Canaries scored their second goal. Inih Effiong ran into the area, reached the byline and pulled the ball back for Frendo, who doesn’t need any encouragement to score from close range.

Redditch had their best spell after the goals and it was no surprise when they pulled a goal back on 37 minutes, Joe Salsall shooting home after a goalmouth scramble which saw Martin Bennett spectacularly save from Tom Berwick.

But Hitchin restored their two goal advantage in first half added time. Effiong did his best to create a chance for Frendo, but as he ran into the area, Jamie Grimes tripped him and a penalty was awarded. This time, Frendo scored with his spot kick.

One might have expected a deluge from Redditch, but Hitchin were in control for much of the second period. The home side had plenty of pressure, but goals refused to come for Redditch. In fact, Hitchin looked more dangerous on the break and Effiong had a chance to pour oil on troubled waters, but his shot was saved by Redditch keeper Dean Coleman.

Eight minutes from time, a long ball by Lawrie Stewart was met by Frendo and after taking the ball past a defender, he showed great composure in using his invariably dormant right foot to score.  Redditch were dead now.

Stewart King replaced Effiong in the 87th, and he had two chances to get on the scoresheet, a pair of one-on-one’s that were saved by Coleman. Four-one represented a good afternoon’s work by Carl Williams’ men, and  this result should lift the confidence stakes at Top Field – until the next setback. Such is the fragile nature of confidence!

The teams

Redditch: Coleman, Knott, Stringfellow, Forde (Travis 7), Cresswell, Grimes, Jones, Halsall, Deabill, Berwick, Osborne

Subs not used: Moses-Garvey, Hurdman, Clarke, Bedford

Goal:  Halsall 37

Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, Pepper, Stewart, Gilbert, Donnelly, Lewis, Gregson, Effiong (King 87), Frendo, Burke (Anderson 69)
Subs not used: Leach, Edgerley, Pedrycz

Goals: Donnelly 12, Frendo 14, 45-pen, 82

Referee: M.D’Aguilar

Assistants: M.Randles, K.Allsopp

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