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Poole Town 1 Hitchin Town 0

Tuesday, April 15 2014

Manager Mark Burke decided to ring the changes with Thursday’s Herts Charity Cup final in mind. With the heavy fixture schedule testing resources to the full seven regular first teamers were rested and the opportunity was taken to use the full squad. Martin Bennett came in for his first appearance in goal since the first game of the season,  Lucas Kirkpatrick made his full league debut, Nick Burtenshaw made a rare appearance and Gary Wharton played a full 90 minutes. Tahj Bell, Callum Donnelly and Charlie Smith had the night off while Simon Martin, Josh Bickerstaff and Stuart Pearson were unused subs and Matt Lench only played 28 minutes.

 

The consequence of the changes saw Hitchin struggle to create any clear cut chances but you could not fault the effort and application of the players against a Poole side still intent on making the play offs. Indeed Hitchin reached half time with the game still goalless. Poole inevitably had most of the possession with Luke Burbridge and Steve Devlin having early chances while Bennett made a good save with his legs from an Ekon Elliott shot. Dan Webb deflected a shot on to the bar after 39 minutes and the half finished with another good save from Bennett after a good strike by Burbridge.

 

Michael King challenged with the keeper after a Rogan McGeorge cross at the start of the second half but it was cleared for a corner. Poole took the lead after another save from Bennett led to a corner that was not cleared and Elliott shot home from the edge of the area. Hitchin never gave up and Poole rarely looked like adding to their lead. Lench replaced McGeorge and Shaun Okojie replaced King and it was Okojie who came closest to an equaliser with a shot that was deflected wide.

 

Poole were content to see out time with Bennett not troubled again so the game finished with a respectable scoreline bearing in mind the missing players. The most important thing about the evening was the fact that a large number of key players had a rest and will be fresh for the cup final and this was an occasion whereby the squad rotation was a necessity.

 

Teams

 

Hitchin  Bennett, Burtenshaw, Jones, Barker, Webb, Ann, Wharton, Rolfe, King, Kirkpatrick, McGeorge  Subs Pearson, Lench for McGeorge 62, Okojie for King 69, Bickerstaff, Martin

 

Poole  Hutchings, Davis, Martin, Wannell, Whisken, Pettefer, Burbridge, Devlin, Elliott, Preston,Brooks  Subs  Gillespie for Elliott 79, Thomas, Davies for Devlin 68, Chidozie for Burbridge 46, Lowes

 

Attendance 301

 

No Bookings

 

Roy Izzard



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