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St.Albans City 2 Hitchin Town 1

Monday, October 28 2013

Narrow, slightly unlucky defeats are rapidly becoming the theme of Hitchin’s season, and not for the first time, the Canaries supporters trudged out of a football ground muttering injustice and the all-too familiar song,“We were robbed”.

Hitchin were certainly unfortunate not to have earned a point from this local derby, their first defeat at Clarence Park in the 21stcentury. St.Albans had their mind on a lucrative FA Cup tie with Football League opposition and never really clicked into gear and Hitchin made a bad start and staged a brave recovery in the second half. But the song has to change soon for the Canaries if they are to avoid a slump into the relegation zone.

Mark Burke’s men have won once in 14 games and with three points picked up at Hinckley being removed, they need a good result soon. On the evidence of the second half, Hitchin are not far short of being a competitive team. Get some goals and tighten the defence and the draws and narrow defeats will become victories.

St.Albans didn’t have to work hard for their goals. Thefirst, after 10 minutes saw a corner from Chris Watters headed home at the nearpost by the unmarked Wharton.

Another cross by Watters caused problems in the Hitchin defence with Mark Nwokejio heading past the post. At the other end, Hitchin’s Michael King was set up by Callum Donnelly but his shot was saved by Paul Bostock.

In the 33rd minute, St.Albans netted their second goal, former Canary John Frendo was upended by goalkeeper David Hulman and he took the penalty kick with his usual self-assurance.

Two goals down at the interval, Hitchin came back well inthe second period. But it wasn’t until the 75th minute that they pulled a goal back. The ball ricocheted around the Saints penalty area and Simon Martin headed the ball on for Dan Webb to force it home.

Hitchin had plenty of possession and pressed for an equaliser, but they were unable to make the breakthrough. When a chance did come, in the final minute, Martin’s effort was tame.

St.Albans: Bastock, Green, Chappell, Marwa, Wharton, Locke(Kaloczi 43), Graham (Taylor 56), Georgiou (Henry 76), Frendo, Nwokeji, Watters

Hitchin: Hulman, Rolfe (Burtenshaw 65), Lench, Barker, Webb, Pearson, McGeorge,Donnelly, Martin, Burns, King

Referee: P.Burnham


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