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Stourbridge 0 Hitchin Town 0

Saturday, March 3 2012

Hitchin’s good record against the top clubs in the Premier Division continued when they drew 0-0 at high-flying Stourbridge.

6- Frendo lob just clears the goal
19- Effiong cut in and shot low, deflected wide
51- Burke struck a post

Weather: Dull, damp

Pitch: Satisfactory
Attendance:  339

 Photo by Geoff TomassonHitchin edge closer to safety with another useful point, this time against a Stourbridge team that has play-off aspirations.

This was an entertaining game, far better than the recent blank 90 minutes against Frome. The fact is, Canaries goalkeeper Martin Bennett didn’t have a shot to save in the entire 90 minutes  and Hitchin can count themselves unlucky not to have returned from the Memorial Ground with three points.

It was a game played in front of a raucous Stourbridge crowd who, along with an interfering and influential home bench, dictated the flow of the game. Every time a Hitchin challenge went in, the Stourbridge management did their level best to call for a card to be brandished. That’s why the Canaries had five men yellow-carded in what was not a physical or bad tempered game.

Hitchin certainly had the better of things in the opening exchanges and if John Frendo had been a little more accurate with his lob, he may have given the Canaries an early lead.

Zak Burke and Inih Effiong – the latter having one of his best games for the club – also had chances to open the scoring and it was not until just before the interval that the home side troubled Hitchin, a John Griffin shot blasted over the bar.

It was much the same in the second half, with Luke Gregson toe-poking wide and Frendo setting up Effiong but his shot was saved. Then Zak Burke struck a post.

But the game became quite scruffy, deteriorating into a dull midfield battle.

Stourbridge tried to gain the upper hand in the closing stages, but the best they could muster was a cross to the far post by Dave McDermott that sailed beyond the reach of Aaron Drake.

The teams

Solly, Rock, Oliver (Dovey h/t), McCone, Geddes, Bennett, Smith, Canavan (Broadhurst 59), Griffin (Griffiths h/t), McDermott, Drake
Subs not used: Lloyd, Dyson

Bennett, Fontenelle, Pepper, Stewart, Gilbert, Donnelly, Burke, Gregson, Effiong, Frendo, Lewis
Subs not used: Leach, King, Edgerley, Pedrycz

Referee: S.England

Assistants: N.Faunch, D.Flanagan

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