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Hitchin Town 1 Bideford 0

Saturday, March 16 2013

Events surrounding dressing room security at Top Field cast this game in the shadow.

The Canaries ended a four-game losing streak with a much-needed win against Bideford. And for once, the Canaries match-winner was not leading scorer John Frendo, but new signing Lewis Toomey, who netted the only goal and put on an impressive all-round display.

 The first half was low on excitement, but Bideford had what half-chances that were on offer. New signing Karl Baker sent a left-foot drive wide of the Hitchin goal in the third minute. Shortly afterwards, Sean Downing skipped past two challenges before sending a low cross into the area, just missing the lunging Kevin Squires.

The game was held up for more than five minutes when referee Mr Smith went off injured, but the half ended quietly after a replacement assistant was found from the crowd. Local referee Chris Scott, no stranger to Top Field, stepped in and earned his round of applause at the end of the game.

Hitchin took the lead in the 52nd minute, Lewis Toomey rounding goalkeeper Tim Sandercombe and shooting in off the post from a tight angle. 

Toomey was menacing again seconds later, resulting in a John Frendo chip that forced Sandercombe into an acrobatic save.

Bideford went close to equalising when a free kick from Mick Barker to the far post was headed across goal by Rob Farkins. 

Hitchin rarely threatened to add to their lead, but a run by substitute Jhai Dhillon ended with a low shot that was well gathered by Sandercombe and a cross by Callum Donnelly caused problems for the Bideford defence.

In closing stages, Frendo, who had a relatively quiet afternoon, struck the woodwork from just outside the area. And with seconds remaining, Martin Bennett pulled off a fine save from Farkins.

A vital three points for the Canaries, but within minutes of the final whistle, heated debate raged as Bidefordís players discovered their dressing room had been rifled. Not a great day for a club that had travelled 250 miles for around six hours to get to North Herts.


Hitchin Town (0)1 Bideford (0)0
1-0 Toomey 52 mins

Attendance: 321

Hitchin: Bennett, Webb, Bickerstaff, Stewart, Gilbert, Lee, Donnelly (Remy 82), Gregson, Toomey, Frendo, Noone (Dhillon 62)
Subs not used: Woolley, Beckett, McGeorge

Bideford: Sandercombe, Squires, Andrew, Barker, Sampson (Clifford 87), Downing, Baker (Halpin 60), Bye (Wood 67), Farkins, Harper-Penman, Hockley
Subs not used: Groves, Furzer

Referee: R.Smith

Assistants: D.Ricci, P.McVey

Photo: Peter Else

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