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Leamington 3 Hitchin Town 0

Saturday, August 25 2012

Down to earth then after victories in the first two games. There was no chance of Hitchin tilting at windmills at Leamington’s out-of-town site on an afternoon when a lack of pace, punch and passion gave the home side a comfortable three goal win.

The Canaries had already had challenges around team selection before arriving in the Spa town, but with Louis Lee and Kyle Lincoln added to the absentee list, the squad was severely tested. Players like Webb, Delderfield, Toomey and Hickey are being thrown into action at an early stage of their Hitchin careers.

After a bright start, Hitchin’s threat quickly faded. With Matty Dodd and James Mace causing problems for the Canaries’ defence, it was thanks to Martin Bennett that Leamington went ahead so late in the half.

Bennett pulled off a good save from the head of Mace, and Dean Gilbert cleared off the line from the same player. As thunder cracked overhead, Mace went narrowly close with a header and Bennett produced a good save from Joe Magunda. Then Richard Batchelor struck the top of the Hitchin crossbar.

In the 30th minute, however, Dean Gilbert held back Tom Berwick in the area and Dodd stepped up to score from the penalty spot to give Leamington the lead.

Berwick had countless chances to increase Leamington’s lead in the second half, firstly denied by Bennett and then shooting low and wide.

Leamington finally scored again in the 73rd minute, Lee Chilton breaking away and shooting against a post and Lee Moore following up to net from close range.

Four minutes from time, Dodd – who tormented Hitchin all afternoon – took advantage of defensive carelessness and shot across goal from an acute angle and past Bennett for the third goal.

Hitchin had little response in the second half and it was hard to recall a decent goalscoring opportunity throughout the 90 minutes.

“A bad day at the office,” said Carl Williams. “We were lacking pace and movement and we made it easy for them. It’s particularly disappointing after the first two games.”


Leamington (1)3 Hitchin Town (0)0

1-0 Dodd – penalty 30 mins

2-0 Moore 73 mins

3-0 Dodd 86 mins

Leamington: Sawyer, Mace, Tuohy, Magunda, Hood, Dodd, Chilton, Berwick (Green 81), Moore (Taylor 80), Batchelor (Owen 71) Subs not used: James Husband, Sam Adkins

Hitchin Town: Bennett, Webb, Leach, Stewart, Gilbert, Beckett (Hickey 67), Tony Fontenelle (Toomey 67), Gregson,  Donnelly, Delderfield, Burke. Subs not used: Islam, Bickerstaff, Pedrycz

Attendance: 381
Referee: John Scott

Assistant Referees: Mark Wardell & Gary Novak

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