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Bashley 0 Hitchin Town 2

Tuesday, March 11 2014

This was a comfortable victory for Hitchin over crisis club Bashley as two first half goals proved enough to secure back to back victories. As expected the team did have changes from Saturday with Dan Webb, Stuart Pearson and Sam Barker all missing due to work commitments. This meant Mark Burke reverted to the 4-2-3-1 formation with Alasan Ann and Josh Bickerstaff the central defenders and Lewis Rolfe right back and Garry Jones left back. Callum Donnelly and Charlie Smith were the holding midfielders with Matt Lench on the right and Michael King on the left either side of Mitchell Bryant with Simon Martin up front. Hitchin only had four subs one of whom was Adam Parker who was disappointed not to get the call to come on!

From the beginning Hitchin dominated the possession and Bashley rarely got out of their own half. King shot over the bar after 13 minutes following good build up play while Donnelly also shot over after a good Martin lay off. The first goal came after 17 minutes and it was as good a goal as Hitchin have scored this season. The impressive Matt Lench cut in from the right hand side and curled a perfectly weighted strike over the keeper in to the top corner with his left foot.

Luke Ansell deflected a free kick from Jack Odam on to the post but that was a rare threat to Hitchin's goal as Bryant shot over the bar and Lench fired just wide at the other end. After Odam failed to win a penalty when going down in the box Hitchin did win a penalty when keeper Monty George took Donnelly out in the penalty area. He earned a yellow card rather than red but Martin's penalty was well struck to his right. King shot wide just before half time and there was a sense of inevitability about the result as Bashley never really looked capable of a comeback.

In truth the second half was somewhat of a non event. Bashley worked hard and Hitchin eased off but in a virtual repeat of the recent Frome game the scoreline did not look like changing and so it proved. Gary Wharton replaced King after 71 minutes, Jemale McKenzie-Lowe replaced Bryant after 76 minutes and Nick Burtenshaw replaced Lench after 87 minutes but Parker remained on the bench. There were two bookings for each side but the game drifted to its predictable outcome.

There were positives for Hitchin as they again readily beat one of the lesser sides which was not always the case while there was another clean sheet despite the absence of Webb and Pearson. With Ann and Bickerstaff in complete command it shows Hitchin now have four quality central defenders . The midfield again played some good football while Martin worked hard up front. It was encouraging that without key players the depth of the squad proved to be up to the task. Also while Tahj Bell did not have a great deal to do he is putting in consistently strong performances and his distribution is exceptional.


HITCHIN  Bell, Rolfe, Bickerstaff, Lench, Ann, King, Smith, Donnelly, Martin, Bryant, Jones  Subs Wharton for King 71, McKenzie-Lowe for Bryant 76, Burtenshaw for Lench 87, Parker.

BASHLEY  George, Roberts, Flint, Ansell, Marden, Strickland, Brookes, Morris, Joyce, Odam, Manders  Subs  Soetan for Brookes 53, Rolls for Ansell 62, Gazzard

Attendance 106

Bookings Hitchin  King and Ann  
         Bashley  George, Marden and Soetan

Roy Izzard

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