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Hitchin Town 0 Arlesey Town 1

Monday, August 27 2012

On the evidence of this display, Arlesey Town are more likely to be found at the top end rather than the bottom end of the Evo-Stik Southern Premier this season.

They put in a thoroughly professional performance to clinch their third successive victory at a strangely subdued Top Field.

It would be unfair to say that the Canaries line-up was makeshift, but with players like Lee, Lewis, Frendo and Burke all missing, Hitchin had what some might call a “make do and mend” look about it.

In a game against an all-star Arlesey side, in a competitive local derby, this did not bode well.  But the game started fairly tamely with neither side capable of creating much excitement for the near-600 crowd.

The first signs of any passion came in the 20th minute when Leon Hibbert was yellow carded for bundling over Callum Donnelly.

Arlesey started to get on top and livewire new signing Drew Roberts went close on the half hour when his shot was blocked by Marc Leach. Within seconds, Roberts gained possession on the flank and just outside the Hitchin area and hit a first-time shot over the head of Martin Bennett to score.

Another Bedford refugee, James Hatch, almost added a second when he sent a low shot just wide of Bennett’s goal.

Without a single first choice striker, Hitchin’s attack made little headway against Arlesey’s defence, which was well organized by former Top Field favourite Ryan Frater – until he left the field with around 20 minutes to go. As a result, the second half descended into a dull, hit-and-hope affair, with Arlesey comfortably controlling the game.

Chances were rare, with Arlesey’s Jeanmal Prosper heading wide from a corner and a long range daisy-cutter of a shot by Jordan Browne fumbled by Bennett. As for Hitchin, their first effort of the game was a tame shot by Luke Gregson with four minutes remaining.

All gloomy stuff for Canaries’ fans, but with the absent players starting to return this week, there will be better days ahead. But watch Arlesey – they have lost their rough edges and with the likes of Drew Roberts in attack, they will be a force to reckon with.


Hitchin Town (0)0 Arlesey Town (1)1
0-1 Drew Roberts 31 mins

Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, Leach, Stewart, Gilbert, Beckett, Islam (Toomey 65), Gregson, Donnelly, Delderfield, Lincoln Subs not used: Webb, Bickerstaff, Hickey, Pedrycz

Arlesey: N.Abbey, Browne, Davis, Blackett, Frater (Thurlbourne 69), Prosper, Goss, Hibbert, Roberts, Hatch (Patrick 90), P.Draycott (Marsh 69)
Subs not used: Bussey, Fry

Attendance: 573

Referee: M.Mellor

Assistants: M.Heavey, A.Anastasiou

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