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Banbury United 0 Hitchin Town 3

Tuesday, August 12 2014

After the disappointment of Saturday Hitchin bounced back with an emphatic victory at Banbury. Mark Burke said afterwards it was all about the result but it was also a performance that saw more of the passing football which has become the Hitchin trademark.

There was one change to the starting line up as Lewis Rolfe replaced the unavailable Sam Barker and he did a solid job in the midfield holding role. It was again a 5-1-3-1 formation and the midfield was much more productive than at Corby. On the bench Garry Jones came in for Gary Wharton who had work commitments.

Banbury came close to taking the lead when Mark Smith made a brilliant save from Luke Cray after just 6 minutes, and the on loan keeper put in another impressive show. Simon Martin shot wide after a Jonny McNamara pass before Nkosi Mzungwana hit the post. But Hitchin were playing the better football and Robbie Burns came close after 25 minutes.

Hitchin took the lead after 28 minutes when Lawrence Nuamah dropped the ball which found its way to Charlie Smith. He saw the keeper off his line and produced a delightful chip and Smith was on top form all evening showing real creativity and a great range of passing.

Martin headed a Smith free kick over the bar but was on target with his next header after 38 minutes when he headed home a McNamara cross that followed Smith’s  pass. It was 2-0 at half time and Hitchin were good value for the lead.

In the second half Hitchin defended well and Smith was rarely threatened. Brett Donnelly replaced Martin and Hitchin were always likely to score again. The third goal followed a Smith free kick which Nuamah failed to deal with—and this was typical of an eccentric performance from the Banbury keeper—and Burns tucked the ball home from a difficult angle.

Jones came on for Dan Webb  before Hitchin nearly made the score even more convincing. Matt Lench’s shot rebounded from the post and Burns turned the loose ball home but was adjudged offside.

While Banbury look destined for a difficult season Hitchin can look forward with confidence and if they produce the football they are capable of they should not fear any opponent. There is still plenty of improvement to come but the new players are settling in well and there is competition for places.

Teams

Hitchin  Smith, Lench, Walster, Ann, Webb, Corran, McNamara, Rolfe, Martin, Burns, Smith  Subs Donnelly for Martin 68,King, Ironton, Jones for Webb 74, Osei-Siribour

Banbury  Nuamah, Cray, Mzungwana, Strafford, Westbrook, Murombedzi, Abrahams, Evangelinos, Simpson, Noel, Adekunle  Subs Oke, Green, Osyemi, Walcott for Noel, Vincent-Young  for Adekunle

No bookings for either side ---  Referee excellent

Attendance 196

Report by Roy Izzard



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