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Chesham United 1 Hitchin Town 1

Saturday, April 13 2013

Well it wasn’t three points, but the Canaries could claim, with some justification, a moral victory against play-off chasing Chesham. It’s been 20 years since Hitchin won at the Meadow, but they went very close to ending the drought.

It wasn’t a classic, but it didn’t have to be.  Hitchin edged a little nearer to safety and made it one defeat in seven – their best run of the season.

There was an early scare for Hitchin when Toby Little’s cross was dropped by Martin Bennett, but in the opening minutes, the Canaries looked composed and were rarely troubled.

Chesham keeper Shane Gore was perhaps fortunate not to be sent off when he jumped into Hitchin striker Ellis Remy, a la Schumacher, World Cup 1982. He was awarded a yellow card. Michael Noone’s free kick was fumbled by Gore and John Frendo almost turned the rebound home.

Chesham went ahead with a 20th minute penalty when Inih Effiong’s cross struck Elliot Legg’s arm. Simon Thomas scored with his spot-kick. But four minutes later, Hitchin levelled, John Frendo’s low shot, assisted by the greasy surface, being turned into the net by Danny Gudgeon.

Hitchin lost striker Lewis Toomey just before the interval, who was hurt earlier but soldiered on. In first-half added time, Bennett pulled off an excellent save from Effiong’s close range effort and then Josh Bickerstaff cleared a second effort just inches from the goalline.

Remy should have done better when he squeezed between two defenders just after the break, but Gore did well to block him.  With 20 minutes remaining, a Callum Donnelly cross was met by Frendo, but his shot was saved by Gore.

In the 86th minute, Frendo returned the compliment, but Donnelly’s shot went just wide – arguably Hitchin’s best chance of the game.  And in the 90th minute, Remy turned and saw his shot saved by Gore. The frustration of the home side was very evident, manifesting itself in the form of verbal exchanges between the Chesham bench and their officials.

A point at a ground that has become a barren hunting ground in recent years was not a bad return for a battling display against a good side. It’s looking increasingly likely that the Canaries will end the season in safe territory.



Statistics

Chesham United (1)1 Hitchin Town (1)1

1-0 Simon Thomas – pen 20 mins
1-1 Dudgeon OG 24 mins



Attendance: 409



Chesham: Gore, Kyriacou, Gudgeon, Lambert, Bartley, Little (Wales 70), Fotheringham, Scott Thomas, Effiong, Simon Thomas, Wilson
 Subs not used: Rolfe, Barker, Lench, Watters

Hitchin: Bennett, Legg, Bickerstaff, Stewart, Webb, Donnelly, Toomey (Burke 42), Lee, Remy, Frendo, Noone 
Subs not used: Gilbert, McGeorge, King, Stanton

Referee: G.Kinnear

Assistants: C.Goode and R.Evans



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