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Hitchin Town 0 Luton Town 1

Monday, July 16 2012

It was the Celts who believed that finding a dead crow was a sign of good fortune so if there is any substance in this superstition, Hitchin Town can be pleased with their outlook for the 2012-13 season. Neil Jensen reports from Top Field.

The hapless crow, dying beneath the old wooden seats in the main stand, barely stirred during the first half of the Canaries’ summer opener, a game that did little to raise the blood pressure of an astonishingly high crowd of 1,409.

Luton’s fans came in their hordes, making the short cross-county journey to see the new-look side that manager Paul Buckle has assembled. On the evidence of this game, they could be in for a good campaign.
Hitchin, by constrast, looked little different from 2011-12. Just one week or so into their pre-season training, Carl Williams’ men ran out of steam late in the game, but lacked nothing in enthusiasm.

With the eyes of the football world on Poland in the summer, it was perhaps appropriate that Hitchin’s best performer was goalkeeper Bart Pedrycz, who had a “Tomaszewski”  night of his own, stopping shot after shot, notably a fine save from Stuart Fleetwood that was followed up by Jake Howells.

Pedrycz was beaten just once, three minutes before the interval when Adam Watkins fired home from close range after Howells’ cross had been deflected favourably in his direction. Earlier, Hitchin could have taken the lead when Ieuan Lewis took advantage of a slip-up by Grant Beckwith – a player who has acquired a habit of having a bad game against Hitchin – squared to John Frendo who opted for a “glory shot” instead of a tame tap-in and goalkeeper Dean Brill saved the day for Luton.

Brill was one of a trio who stayed on the pitch after the interval. Luton decided to field a coachload of new faces in the second half, with many Kenilworth Road regulars puzzled about the composition of the team.  Among them was one Alasan Ann, who failed to make an impression in his brief stay at Hitchin but has been offered a contract with the Blue Square Premier side.

Only Pedrycz stood between Luton and a straw boater full of goals in the second period and one save, from the curiously-named J.J. O’Donnell, saw him acrobatically tip  the ball round the post. Then Harry Crawford hit the angle of bar and post with a curling effort from the edge of the penalty area. As Luton’s new-look, new-look team tried to impress Buckle on the touchline, Matt Robinson was denied by another example of good custodial work by Hitchin’s stand-in keeper.

So what did Hitchin learn? New signing Kyle Lincoln looked accomplished at times; Pedrycz has used his summer wisely; Josh Bickerstaff looks to be back. Carl Williams, looking remarkably like a new-age manager in the Pep Guardiola mould, all sharp suit and intensity,  was pleased with the workout.



Hitchin Town (0)0 Luton Town (1)1

Hitchin:
Pedrycz, Fontenelle, Lincoln (Bickerstaff 64), Gilbert, Leach, Lee, Howell (Delderfield 64), Donnelly (A Trialist), Burke, Frendo, Lewis
Luton: Brill, Henry*, Taylor,*, Kasim*, Beckwith *, Kovacs, Fleetwood *, Watkins*, Gray*, Rendell *, Howells * Subs second half: Ann, Rowe-Turner, Robinson, Lawless, O’Donnell, Crawford, Walker, O’Connor, Lacey
*Replaced at half-time.

Referee: C.Scott
Attendance: 1,409

See also
Luton Today -Match report

The Comet - Match report


Jan Tomaszewski in action - Youtube



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