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Hitchin Town 6 Bedford Town 1

Monday, February 10 2014

Hitchin offered up a goal-packed derby last Monday, as they added more misery to Bedford's woeful season.

It was actually the visitors who made the brighter start - needing just eight minutes to take the lead. A mix-up in the Hitchin defence gifted Jordan Jarrold with enough space and time to fire home and the League strugglers had given themselves the perfect start.

The early goal resulted in some sloppy play from Hitchin, although you could not fault them for their tenacity and willingness to get back into the game. In fact, both sides seemed keen to contribute towards this lively local derby.

Hitchin's persistence finally paid off in the 19th minute. An unconvincing clearance from a Hitchin corner fell nicely to Simon Martin, whom promptly took the opportunity to even the score.Then, just a minute later, it was Hitchin's turn to take the lead. Lewis Rolfe made an excellent run down the wing and delivered the ball across field, straight to Callum Donnelly's feet. He didn't need any second chances to make it 2-1 to the Canaries.

Hitchin, from then on, were far the more threatening side and on 33 minutes, Kim Forsythe added his name to the scoresheet. After making a well-timed run and rounding the keeper, he coolly slotted home to extend the Canaries' lead.

And the first half goals didn't stop there...with Sam Barker finding the back of the net on 39 minutes to make it 4-1.

A spectacular fifth goal was almost on the cards in the latter stages of the first half, when Charlie Smith's mishit cross struck the crossbar. The relief from the Bedford Town defence was all but plain to see.

Half-Time: Hitchin 4 - 1 Bedford

The second half restart was unfortunately marred by the injury to Hitchin's Kim Forsythe. After pressuring the Bedford defence and benefiting from a botched header, he was bundled over in the box after getting a shot away. Play momentarily stopped whilst he received treatment but he was not fit enough to carry on. Michael King came on as his replacement.

Hitchin were not to be satisfied with just a 4-1 score line and on 72 minutes, Callum Donnelly scored the goal of the game. He effortlessly curled the ball towards goal, with it hitting the post and ricocheting into the back of the net.

With the game drawing to a close and Hitchin looking to have comfortably taken a 5-1 win, Michael King decided he wanted a goal too - capitalising on Bedford's frantic defending and slotting home on the 90th minute.

Callum Donnelly, unsurprisingly, won Man of the Match - his work rate, leadership and brace of goals fittingly awarding him the title. However, Lewis Rolfe also deserves huge credit for his effort in the game. His solid defensive performance,accompanied by the constant threat he posed getting forward, created a number of opportunities for the home side.

Having said that though, it was nothing other than an all-round, great team effort.

In fairness to Bedford, they never gave up and continued to attack whenever the opportunity presented, rather than simply opt for a 'damage control' strategy.

This loss, however, has gained them no ground over fellow League strugglers Bashley and AFC Totton, who also have the advantage of games in hand.

Final score: Hitchin 6 - 1 Bedford


Bell: Rolfe: Bickerstaff (Ann 46): Barker: Webb: Pearson (Noone 64): Smith: Donnelly: Martin: Forsythe: Jones: Subs: Noone: King: Ann: Wharton: Burtenshaw


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