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Kettering Town 3 Hitchin Town 1

Monday, April 1 2013

Somebody forgot to tell Kettering that they were supposed to roll over and wallow in mourning for their Premier Division status. Just waiting for their relegation rites to be read, the Poppies put on the sort of performance that would surely have salvaged their season long ago. As for Hitchin, this game ranked among their worst displays of the campaign.

The first half was tedious for the 220 crowd. Misplaced passes, long-balls hit in hope and clumsy tackles were the order of the day. When Kettering took a 24th minute lead, however, it was with a goal straight out of the top-drawer and totally out of character with the rest of the game. Defender Henry Eze, playing in an unfamiliar  striking role, sent a spectacular overhead kick past Martin Bennett from 10 yards. Eze had missed an open goal a few minutes earlier, blasting wide at the far post.

Hitchin grabbed the initiative after the goal and Callum Donnelly saw a goalbound shot deflected wide.  He had a further two efforts to score, but goalkeeper Michael Quirke pulled off two good saves. Quirke also denied Luke Gregson and the rebound was shot into the side-netting by Lewis Toomey.

After a bright opening to the seond half, during which Toomey’s one-on-one ended with a shot across the face of goal and Ellis Remy was stopped in his tracks by a defender, Hitchin equalized. In the 58th minute, substitute Zak Burke fed Donnelly and his low cross to the far post was steered into the net by Remy,

For a short while, it looked as though Hitchin would go on to win the game notably when Burke’s shot was acrobatically saved by Quirke. The Canaries were only level for eight minutes, though, thanks to another well struck goal from Nathan Hicks.

In the 82nd minute  the points were secured when Louis Hamilton punted the ball forward and Solomon Akinshade ran on to chip his shot over Bennett.

Kettering Town (1)3 HitchinTown (0)1

1-0  Eze 24 mins
1-1 Remy 58 mins
2-1 Hicks 66 mins
3-1 Akinshade 8 mins

Attendance: 220

Kettering: Quirke, Ndzome (Bradshaw 64), Fox, Logan, Eze, Crowie, Hamilton (Glen 90), Hicks, Njie (Akinshade 54), Muzvimbiri, Ford Subs not used: Lavin

Hitchin: Bennett, Beckett, Bickerstaff, Stewart, Gilbert, Lee (McGeorge 79), Donnelly, Gregson, Toomey, Remy, Delderfield (Burke 59)
Subs not used: King, Webb, Stanton

Referee: D.Bourne

Assistants: C.Goode, M.Wardell

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