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Hitchin Town 1 Burnham 1

Saturday, October 26 2013

This was in truth a mundane game with little to get excited by. There was a lack of goalmouth action and the quality of the passing was below expectations but it was not all gloom and doom from a Hitchin perspective. Admittedly the recent indifferent run has had an affect on confidence  but here Hitchin ground out a draw without playing their normal flowing football and despite the team selection being hampered by the absence of Josh Bickerstaff, Jemal Lowe and Gary Wharton. Matt Lench came in at right back with Lewis Rolfe moving to left back while Michael King joined Simon Martin up front but without Lowe width was lacking.
Hitchin had the better of the first half with greater possession and more attacking intent. Martin headed wide and Rogan McGeorge had a shot blocked early on but the deserved breakthrough came on 38 minutes when a good header from Robbie Burns from a Callum Donnelly corner was handled by a defender and McGeorge confidently despatched the penalty. Hitchin had looked comfortable to this point but after scoring suffered a nervous period , struggling to clear their lines and on the stroke of half time conceded a free kick that was headed in by James Dobson.
The second half was a bit of a non event with neither side really looking likely to score and an over fussy referee blew his whistle so frequently the game had no chance to flow. Michael Noone replaced King early on but the best chance fell to Martin who delayed his shot too long after 84 minutes. Then Tahj Bell made an excellent save from Lewis Driver after 86 minutes to ensure Hitchin gained a point.
A draw was probably a fair result and Mark Burke was really pleased with the defensive performance.  Lench was named man of the match while Dan Webb and Stuart Pearson are forming a formidable partnership in central defence. Grinding out a result also satisfied the manager who accepted the importance of picking up a point against an in form Burnham despite not playing as well as we can do.
Hitchin Team:  Bell, Rolfe, Lench, Barker, Webb, Pearson, McGeorge, Donnelly, Martin, Burns, King, Subs Noone for King 56, Hulman, Burtenshaw for Rolfe 87, Kirkpatrick for Barker 79, Morrison.

Roy Izzard

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