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Hitchin Town 3 Chippenham Town 1

Saturday, April 19 2014

If anyone expected Hitchin to be feeling sorry for themselves after the cruel Herts Charity Cup defeat on penalties they were proved wrong as the Canaries were immediately on the front foot and dominated the early stages of the game. In a goalmouth scramble after just three minutes Matt Lench had a couple of shots blocked and Gary King shot over the bar four minutes later.
Alan Griffin, so often the scourge of Hitchin was booked after 13 minutes before Charlie Smith shot wide and Wharton had two shots blocked as Hitchin continued to dominate. Then totally against the run of play Chippenham scored in what was one of their first attacks. On 24 minutes James Guthrie crossed for Joe McClennan to shoot home at the far post.
Hitchin were not deterred by this blow and got their deserved equaliser after 37 minutes and it was crowd favourite Wharton who scored his first league goal of the season with a shot just inside the post after a Matt Lench pass. It got better for Hitchin when Wharton's shot was handled in the penalty area by Pete Monks who was booked. Garry Jones put the penalty away with the minimum of fuss on 45 minutes and no one could argue that Hitchin were full value for their half time lead.
The first quarter of the second half was uneventful before Smith forced a save from Kent Kauppinen. On 69 minutes Lucas Kirkpatrick replaced Michael King and soon after McClennan miskicked when in a good position. Then Wharton sealed the points with another good finish after an inch perfect Smith through ball. Wharton has not always had a great deal of match time but he worked really hard and fully deserved his two goals. Indeed he came agonisingly close to a hat tick with a shot that was just wide and another that the keeper saved.
Overall this was a good performance from a weary Hitchin side playing their 7th game in 15 days. Chippenham were limited to few chances as Dan Webb kept the dangerous Griffin quiet and Hitchin always looked dangerous going forward.
An unusual statistic saw Matt Lench wearing  the number 8 shirt meaning he has now worn all numbers  from 2 to 11 this season.
Hitchin  Bell, Ann, Bickerstaff, Barker, Webb, Pearson, Smith, Lench, Wharton, King, Jones  Subs Rolfe, Burtenshaw for Barker 80, Kirkpatrick for King 69
Chippenham  Kauppinen, Purnell, Monks, Simpson, Beeden Tindle, McClennan, Leigh, Harris, Guthrie  Subs  King for Harris 66, Harvey for Leigh 46, Blackmore for Simpson 46, John
Attendance 293
Bookings  Hitchin  None  Chippenham  Griffin and Monks
Roy Izzard

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