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Hitchin Town 3 Stevenage 2

Tuesday, July 24 2012

Played in sub-tropical conditions, here was a reminder that this is very much the summer and the tame jousting of pre-season is for the benefit of players and not strictly for spectators.

Not that this game lacked entertainment. Stevenage brought a youth team so young that its watching parents in the stand would struggle to get into an over-40s disco. But they passed the ball around nicely, as one would expect from a side schooled by the former Hitchin duo Darren Sarll and Robbie O’Keefe, and technically were not half bad.

It was the usual revolving door approach to a pre-season game, with players coming and going, but one who stayed on the pitch for 90 minutes was striker Bernie Christie, the former Tring and Dunstable striker who lacked nothing for effort and occasionally, showed that he might not necessarily know the way to Amarillo, but certainly knew the route to goal.

Christie was involved when Hitchin went ahead on eight minutes, John Frendo poking the ball past diminutive goalkeeper Charlie Horlock. But Stevenage equalized in the 27th minute when Jo N’Guessan ran onto a through ball and netted from a tight angle.

Richard Howell brought a fine save out of Horlock in the 32nd minute with one of his spectacular free kicks, and John Frendo restored the lead on 41 minutes with another set-piece.

Stevenage equalized again on 68 minutes when Dan Udoh slide the ball into the net from six yards, but two minutes later, Dean Gilbert headed what proved to be the winner from trialist full back Matt Clarke’s free kick.

Hitchin: Bennett (Pedrycz), Clarke, K.Lincoln (Bickerstaff), Stewart (Gilbert), Leach, Donnelly (Gregson), Howell (Edgerley), Lee (King), Christie, Frendo (Beckett), Hickey (L.Lincoln)

Attendance: 275
Referee: C.O’Donnell

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