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Hitchin Town 3 Hemel Hempstead Town 2

Saturday, April 20 2013

They all came to crown the king of modern Hitchin goalscorers, John Frendo, whose record is more in keeping with a pre-war marauding centre-forward than today’s strikers.

One goal was all he needed to reach 100 for the club.

 But the crowd was left singing the praises of Lewis Toomey, whose first-half hat-trick sunk play-off chasing Hemel Hempstead in one of the best games of the season at Top Field.

Frendo had his chances, but it just wouldn’t run for him. It did for Toomey, however, who can claim to have played a key role in the Canaries’ survival this season. As for Frendo, there’s always Bedford next Saturday.

Hitchin started in energetic fashion and it was no surprise when they went ahead after 10 minutes, Toomey meeting a Rogan McGeorge cross with a glancing header that gave Sam Beagle no chance.

Frendo almost add a second shortly afterwards when his header was cleared off he line by the towering Moussara Diarra.

Beagle came to Hemel's rescue with a double save from Toomey, firstly blocking a low shot his feet and then safely handling the Hitchin striker's header.

Hemel, who had crept back into the game after a slow start, equalised on the half hour, David Hutton squaring the ball for Steve O'Leary to shoot high into the net from 20 yards.

But Hitchin delivered a two-goal salvo in the space of a minute just before the interval. Both came from Toomey, who secured a first-half hat-trick with two outstanding strikes.

The first was a low shot from just outside the area, the second a dipping effort that caught Beagle off his line and raised the Top Field roof at the same time.

Hemel responded immediately with Ryan Charles chipping onto the roof of the net and then in the 48th minute, David Pearce turned and curled a low shot past Martin Bennett in the Hitchin goal.

Hemel pressured for much of the half, but rarely looked like scoring. In fact, in the closing stages, Hitchin went closest, notably with a Frendo swerving volley from long-range that was tipped over by Beagle.

In the final minute, Frendo was denied again, his side-footed effort being blocked, so there was no 100th goal for the league's most prolific marksman.

One word, however, on Dean Brennan’s Hemel. They played some excellent football and displayed far better discipline than most visiting sides to Top Field.


Hitchin Town (3)3 Hemel Hempstead (1)2

1-0 Toomey 10 mins

1-1 O’Leary 30 mins

2-1 Toomey 44 mins

3-1 Toomey 45 mins

3-2 Pearce 48 mins

Attendance: 535

Hitchin: Bennett, Legg, Bickerstaff, Stewart, Webb, Noone, Beckett, Lee (King 81), Remy (McGeorge 6), Frendo, Toomey
 Subs not used: Gilbert, Burke, Williams

Hemel: Beagle, May, Parsons (Gilbert 87), O’Leary, King, Diarra, Charles (Mpi 53, Holmes 77), Parkes, Pearce, Campana, Hutton
 Subs not used: Talbot, Anderson

Referee: A. Da Costa

Assistants: K.Yesek, I.Wilson

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