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Hitchin Town 3 Bashley 2

Saturday, February 23 2013

While John Frendo will undoubtedly get the plaudits for yet another fine brace of goals, the second a quite outstanding strike, Hitchin owed their victory against Bashley to renaissance man Luke Gregson.

The industrious Gregson is enjoying a productive spell with the club and deservedly picked up the Man of the Match award. His winning goal was a superbly struck low drive that beat goalkeeper Stuart Moore from outside the penalty area.

It was a relief for the Canaries, for it had looked like they had thrown away a two-goal lead after opening the game impressively. Frendo gave Hitchin the lead after just six minutes, receiving Jake Woolley’s through ball and rounding two defenders before shooting home.

Four minutes later, Frendo did it again, scoring one of the great goals of this or any other season. A corner from Michael Noone arrived waist-high and Frendo met the ball with a fierce volley that the keeper got a hand to but could not prevent finding the back of the net.

Hitchin were pegged back a goal in the 12th minute, though, Josh Casey’s free kick being touched past Martin Bennett by James Stokoe. Bennett and a number of Hitchin players protested, seemingly an infringement had occurred, but the goal stood.

After that early flurry, the rest of the first half was distinctly anti-climatic. Noone’s corner hit the woodwork, Woolley went close with a curling shot and Frendo almost secured another hat-trick when he shot on the run, but inches wide.

Bashley got more and more into the game, however and it was no surprise when they levelled the scores in the 53rd minute, Tim Stephenson sending a looping header over Hitchin keeper Martin Bennett.

Hitchin regained the lead in the 64th minute, Gregson coming  to the rescue to continue his recent good form in front of goal. The rest of the game was quite even, although low on goalscoring chances.

Hitchin substitute Daniel Delderfield should have done better when he was set clear by Frendo but a combination of goalkeeper and defender prevented him getting his shot in.

Bashley called for a penalty in the last minute when Casey went down in the six-yard box, but referee Mr Forrester ignored the pleas.


Hitchin Town (2)3 Bashley (1)2
1-0 Frendo 6 mins
2-0 Frendo 10 mins
2-1 Stokoe 12 mins
2-2 Stephenson 53 mins
3-2 Gregson 64 mins

Attendance: 243

Hitchin: Bennett, Berry, Bickerstaff, Stewart, Ann, Noone, Beckett (McGeorge 60), Gregson, Woolley (Delderfield 81), Frendo, Dhillon (Gilbert 90)
Subs not used: Webb, Lee

Bashley: Moore, Strickland (Gradwell 79), Oliver, Stephenson (Foster 85), Midleton, Richardson, Casey, Colson, Stokoe (Knight 79), Gamble, Finlay
Subs not used: Kearn, Gazzard

Referee: P.Forrester
Assistants: I.Corner, P.Parkins

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