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Hitchin Town 2 Chippenham Town 1

Saturday, March 30 2013

The pressure is starting to lift off Hitchin Town after this vital victory against fellow strugglers Chippenham Town. It was a tense affair, but if this game taught us anything, it was that there are teams with far less confidence than the Canaries, and Chippenham, without a win since December, are one of them.

It also demonstrated that Hitchin can win without crack marksman John Frendo, who missed the game through suspension. Lewis Toomey, for the second consecutive game, provided the match-winning goal.

But there was an early setback for Hitchin when James Guthrie's cross was fumbled by goalkeeper Martin Bennett and striker Alan Griffin bundled the ball into the net.

Another Guthrie effort shortly afterwards also caused problems for Bennett and a low drive by Tom Knighton also threatened to extend Chippenham's lead.

Hitchin equalised in the 22nd minute, Dean Gilbert shooting through a crowded area after Daniel Webb miscued his earlier effort.

Gilbert was involved on the half hour when his shot was cleared off the line, but the ball deflected into the air and Luke Gregson struck the crossbar with a header.

Hitchin took the lead five minutes before the interval when Callum Donnelly's swerving shot was parried by Ben John and Toomey finished from close range.

After a quiet start to the second half, Hitchin almost scored again when Dan Delderfield found tall striker Ellis Remy and his angled shot was cleared off the line by Greg Tindle.

Remy went close to scoring again when Toomey's shot deflected into the air and his header was saved by John.

Substitute Zak Burke, returning to the Hitchin side after a prolonged absence, made an early impact when he met a corner first time but saw his drive stopped by John.

Chippenham substitute Lee Phillips almost levelled the scores when he took advantage of a defensive slip and sent a low shot across the face of goal.

Chippenham had plenty of possession and pressured the Canaries until the end. In fact, Hitchin found it had to establish any kind of rhythm in the second half. Some might consider that the Bluebirds deserved something from the game, but aside from a Griffin header that flew past the post, Hitchin were not seriously tested too much at the back.

Chippenham's frustration boiled over in the closing minutes, Guthrie receiving a straight red for striking Remy in the face.



Statistics


Hitchin Town (2)2 Chippenham Town (1)1
0-1 Griffin 8 mins

1-1 Gilbert 22 mins

2-1 Toomey 40 mins



Attendance: 304

Hitchin: Bennett, Webb, Bickerstaff, Stewart, Gilbert, Lee, Donnelly, Gregson, Toomey (Burke 69), Remy (Beckett 89), Delderfield
  Subs not used: McGeorge, Stanton, King

Chippenham:
John, Harris (Harvey 61), Allward, Williams, Tindle, Kite, Osman (McLennan 65), Mullings, Griffin, Knighton (Phillips 74), Guthrie
 Subs not used: Rudge



Referee: M.Wilson

Assistants: D.Lawson, J.Aldous



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