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Bedford Town 0 Hitchin Town 1

Monday, April 21 2014

This was a case of the result being all that mattered as an uneventful game saw Hitchin grab the three points with an 84th minute Gary Wharton goal. Manager Mark Burke has often said that there are occasions when we need to win ugly and this was just such a game. A rock hard pitch meant unpredictable bounce and it was hard to play good football. On top of this Hitchin were playing their 8th game in 17 days and it would be unfair to have expected anything other than a tired performance. Also Bedford have improved recently and they competed very strongly but to Hitchin's credit Tahj Bell was rarely troubled.

 

The team news was mixed with Lewis Rolfe fit to return and Simon Martin available but Michael King was missing and Garry Jones and Callum Donnelly suspended. Rolfe shot wide in the first minute and Martin headed over the bar after Dan Webb had headed across goal . For Bedford Jordan Davis shot wide while Bell made a good save from Kelvin Osei-Addo but in truth the first half was scrappy with too many misplaced passes from both teams.

 

Martin thought he had scored after 38 minutes when his shot was cleared off the line but half time arrived with the game goalless. Hitchin made a good start to the second period as Matt Lench and Charlie Smith both shot over the bar but neither keeper was being seriously tested. Nick Burtenshaw replaced Stuart Pearson after 78 minutes and soon after Sam Barker shot over the bar. Bedford did not look like scoring as Hitchin defended comfortably.

 

It seemed a goalless draw was inevitable but man of the moment Wharton added to his two goals on Saturday with a fine strike from the edge of the box after Webb's cross had been cleared off the line with six minutes left. Hitchin looked in control to the end and made it six points in two games completing the double over Bedford.

 

So while the game will not live long in the memory the win is all that matters and Hitchin now have the luxury of no game for five days! The last game of the season will be really significant with Stourbridge needing a result to guarantee their play off place and Hitchin aiming to finish as high in the league as possible.

 

Teams

 

Hitchin  Bell, Rolfe, Bickerstaff, Ann, Webb, Pearson, Smith, Barker, Martin, Wharton, Lench  Subs  Burtenshaw for Pearson 78, McGeorge for Smith 90+3, Kirkpatrick, Parker

 

Bedford  Crockett, Grant, Cooper, Wright, Woodward, Burke, Nash, Macrae, Osei-Addo, Davis, Parker  Subs  Birch for Davis, Powell for Osei-Addo, Alalade, Kabeya  

 

Attendance 305

 

Bookings  None

 

Roy Izzard



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