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Hitchin Town 3 Kettering Town 4

Wednesday, December 26 2012

You have to feel for Hitchin’s star striker John Frendo sometimes! He scored a hat-trick in this game but still he finished on the losing side.

And this was a game Hitchin could ill-afford to lose. Kettering, a club that lurches from crisis to crisis, are a team that is scarcely the same two weeks running. They’re bottom of the league and are likely to remain so for the rest of the season. But the manner in which Hitchin lost suggests they will also have to work to work hard to change things at Top Field.

While Frendo showed his predatory instincts all afternoon, at the back, Hitchin were nervous and unconvincing.        

In  a poor opening spell, Frendo struck the woodwork after good work by Zak Burke.  But it was Kettering that took the lead in the 17th minute with a gift of a goal that underlined the lack of confidence in this Hitchin side.

Martin Bennett was pressured by the impressive Joel Gyasi, forcing the Canaries’ keeper to make a hasty clearance that landed invitingly for Lewis Wilson and he sent a low shot into the net from 30 yards.

Frendo hit the woodwork again in the 20th minute, but he levelled the scores in the 42nd minute from the penalty spot, awarded after he had been brought down in the area.

But Hitchin were level for just three minutes, new signing Sam Berry unnecessarily bringing down the awkward Wilson and Jamie Griffiths scoring from the penalty spot.

The third spotkick of the afternoon went to Hitchin, with Frendo restoring parity in the 54th minute after Olly Taylor was upended by goalkeeper Raajan Gill.

Kettering took the decisive hold on the game in the 66th minute with two goals in a little over a minute. Firstly, Wilson sent an angled shot past Bennett from just inside the penalty area and then the same player secured his hat-trick with a close range finish after a good run by Hentry Eze. The two goals killed Hitchin off, although there was still plenty of time for a comeback.

It could have been even worse for Hitchin if Gyasi had kept his cool in a one-on-one with Bennett. In the 77th minute, however, Frendo made it a hat-trick with a superb shot into the top corner after Taylor’s effort had rebounded out to him 10 yards from goal. It wasn’t enough, though, leaving Hitchin the losers in a game that despite the goals, was not the epitome of a seven-goal thriller.


Hitchin Town (1)3 Kettering Town (2)4
0-1 Wilson 17 mins

1-1 Frendo – pen 42 mins
1-2 Griffiths – pen 45 mins

2-2 Frendo – pen 54 mins

2-3 Wilson 65 mins

2-4 Wilson 66 mins

3-4 Frendo 77 mins

Attendance: 428

Hitchin: Bennett, Berry, McGovern, L.Stewart, Leach, Beckett, Delderfield, Gregson, Donnelly, Frendo, Burke (Taylor h/t)
 Subs not used: C.Stewart, Bickerstaff, Webb, Davis

Gill, Gyasi (Kelly 90), Fox, Logan, Eze, Crowie, Johnston, Hicks, Griffiths, Wilson, King (Muzvimbia 81)
 Subs not used: Glen, Harpal

Referee: A. Da Costa
Assistants: D.Lawson & M.Sage

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