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Arlesey Town 0 Hitchin Town 2

Monday, August 25 2014

Hitchin completed a good Bank Holiday weekend with this victory over local rivals Arlesey to add to the excellent point at Weymouth. It all means Hitchin are fifth in the table and have kept three clean sheets in the first six games and this has been despite a number of injuries to key players.

The incessant rain meant a slick surface and the early part of the game was totally dominated by Hitchin who flew out of the traps pressing with intent and playing inventive football. The lead was secured after just 2 minutes when goalkeeper Alex Tokarczyk completely flattened Jonny McNamara to give away an obvious penalty which was converted in style by Lewis Rolfe.

James Hatch tried an acrobatic overhead kick that sailed over the bar but Hitchin doubled their lead with a quality goal on 8 minutes, The set up featured Sam Barker, Brett Donnelly and McNamara and Matt Lench finished in style in to the corner of the net. Donnelly and Charlie Smith both shot just wide as Hitchin threatened to run riot but it was not going to be possible for Hitchin to keep playing at such a high tempo and in the latter part of the first half Arlesey began to have more possession.

Donnelly volleyed over the bar early in the second half and he then headed just wide from a Smith free kick. While Arlesey had a good amount of the ball they failed to really penetrate the Hitchin defence which was again superbly marshalled by skipper Alasan Ann. It meant Michael Johnson had a relatively quiet afternoon but as on Saturday his handling was exemplary.

Garry Jones replaced McNamara after 62 minutes and Michael King came on for Smith after 73 minutes. Both Simon Martin and Donnelly shot wide while Barker had a shot saved but the third goal would not come. But the game finished with Hitchin never really looking in danger of losing their lead.

Mark Burke had switched to a 4-4-2 system for this game with Martin joining Donnelly up front after the former Biggleswade striker had played on his own up front at Weymouth and this again showed how flexible the Hitchin manager is prepared to be with his tactics. Afterwards he felt the arduous journey on Saturday had affected the players in the second half and he was delighted to gain the three points. He also praised the Hitchin fans who turned out in such large numbers and provided great backing for the team.


Arlesey  Tokarczyk, Maltay, Willett, Tavernier, Gough, Sage, Mason, Bailey, Bossman, Hatch, Basmel  Subs  Carr, English for Mason 80, Shariffu for Hatch 20, Boot, Thompson

Hitchin  Johnson, Rolfe, Walster, Ann, Corran, Lench, McNamara, Barker, Donnelly, Martin, Smith  Subs  Jones for McNamara 62, Burns for Donnelly 85, Osei-Siribour, King for Smith 73, Chabata

Attendance 343


Arlesey  Maltay

Hitchin Lench, Johnson and King

Roy Izzard

Match Photographs by Peter Else

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