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Hitchin Town 2 Arlesey Town 0

Friday, December 26 2014

Hitchin came out on top in the local derby as they triumphed 2-0 over Arlesey Town at Top Field.

As expected from the local derby, the game was lively from the offset and it took just 14 minutes for the Canaries to take the lead - Lewis Rolfe slotting home from the penalty spot after Dean Gilbert had fouled Matt Lench in the box.

Arlesey had an opportunity to equalise shortly after, as Lench gifted the visitors with a free-kick for a foul on James Hatch. Gilbert was allowed a free header but his effort was just wide of the target.

A foul by Alasan Ann on Hallelujah Basmel gave Arlesey another free-kick in a dangerous position and Kim Forsythe's resulting header almost found the target but for some good keeping from Canaries' keeper Charlie Horlock.

Then, a mix up between Rolfe and Lucas Kirkpatrick gifted Basmel with the ball but Ben Walster did well to come across field and clear at the expense of a corner.

In the 32nd minute Kirkpatrick tried his luck from range and forced Arlesey keeper Nick Thompson in to a save. 

In the 41st minute, Arlesey were awarded yet another free-kick in a dangerous position but Hatch's effort was well off-target.

Hitchin then doubled their lead through McNamara just before the half-time whistle. It was Sam Barker who had the initial shot, with his effort taking an unfortunate deflection off an Arlesey defender before falling nicely in to the path of a quick thinking McNamara.

Half-Time: Hitchin Town 2-0 Arlesey Town

A defensive error from Canaries' defender Dan Webb in the opening stages of the second-half gave the visitors an early corner. Horlock, however, rose high to punch the ball away from immediate danger before Brett Donnelly then cleared upfield.

Minutes later, Hitchin should have put themselves further ahead. Kirkpatrick initiated the move, heading the ball forward for McNamara, who lost his marker before rolling the ball back to an unmarked Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick's shot, however, sailed over the crossbar, much to the relief of the Arlesey defence.

In the 51st minute, Donelly did well to turn away from James Sage in the box but his resulting shot was tame and went straight in to the arms of Thompson.

Arlesey continued to cause problems at set pieces and an unmarked Sage was gifted another free header on the hour mark.The Arlesey player, however, could not connect properly with the ball, consequently allowing Horlock to retrieve.

The worsening weather started to dictate the game as the second-half went on, although the lively derby spirit was very much apparent throughout the players and fans.

In the 63rd minute, Lench put an excellent ball in to the box but Nat Peacock's header sailed over the crossbar.

An injury to Hatch and Rolfe halted play for a few minutes but seconds after the restart, Basmel headed wide after being left unmarked in the box. It was the visitors' best chance of the game.

Kim Forsythe then saw his free-kick go straight in to the arms of Horlock.

There were several minutes of extra time to play due to the earlier injury to James Hatch but not enough for Arlesey to get anything out of the game. Both sides remained lively and competitive throughout the match but  ultimately it was Hitchin who came out on top to gain another win over their neighbours.

Full-Time: Hitchin Town 2-0 Arlesey Town

Goals: Rolfe 14', McNamara 45'


Hitchin: McNamara, Ann

Arlesey: Gilbert, Hatch, Forsythe


Hitchin Town: Horlock, Rolfe, Walster, Ann, Webb, Barker, McNamara (C.Donnelly 87'), Lench, B. Donnelly (Martin 85'), Peacock (Green 72'), Kirkpatrick
Subs (not used): Noone, Galliford

Arlesey Town: Thompson, Longdon, Willett, Gilbert (Kabuye 45'), Sage, Plowright, Gregson, Hatch (Summerfield 70'), Forsythe, Basmel, Hilaire (Ironton 61')
Subs (not used): Mateo-Kelly, Powell

Hitchin Man of the Match: Jonny McNamara

Attendance: 490


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