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Hitchin Town 2 Banbury United 0

Monday, October 20 2014

Hitchin were finally back to winning ways after defeating 10-man Banbury United at Top Field.

Hitchin did not have the best of starts, with both Ben Walster and Matt Lench picking up a yellow card within the opening ten minutes. 

Jonny McNamara, however, did give the hosts the first shot of the game, although it was well off-target.

Then, an in-swinging ball from Charlie Smith looked promising, but a lack of Hitchin bodies in the box resulted in an easy catch for Banbury keeper Leigh Bedwell.

Moments later, Bedwell was alert in sensing the danger of a poaching Robbie Burns, and intercepted the ball in from Lench. 

Sam Barker then had a shot from long-range but it went straight in to the arms of Bedwell.

It was Josh Shama who was first to create opportunities for the visitors - heading over the crossbar from a corner taken by David Lynn, and minutes later seeing his shot go just wide of the post after he was once again given space inside the box.

A poor corner from Burns then gave Banbury the opportunity to counter-attack, and it was Adeyinka Talabi who stormed up the wing - his shot just curling over the crossbar.

Hitchin then saw some good build-up play wasted. It was Burns who initiated the move - lifting the ball in to space for McNamara, who in turn drove in to the box where he was eventually given support through Donnelly and Burns. Donnelly let McNamara's pass run to Burns, who was immediately crowded out by the Banbury defence. Burns lay the ball off to Barker, who had time and space on the edge of the box, but his shot was wild and well off-target. 

A straight red for Banbury's Harry Jervis in the latter stages of the first-half gifted Hitchin with a man advantage, in turn giving the visitors a difficult task in the second-half.

Within seconds of the sending off, heroic keeping from Bedwell denied Donnelly and McNamara in what was Hitchin's best opportunity to take the lead.

The last chance of what was a fairly uneventful first-half, fell to Donnelly, who headed over the crossbar after McNamara had chipped the ball to him in the box.

Half-Time

Hitchin Town 0-0 Banbury United

Hitchin took the lead five minutes in to the second-half - Dan Webb left completely unmarked at a Hitchin corner and heading the ball with ease in to the back of the net.

Marvin Martin then took a shot from long-range but it went straight in to the arms of Bell.

Bell was then called in to action moments later - pulling off a great save to deny Leam Howards, who had skipped through the defence with ease.

McNamara then tried a curling shot but it was off-target. 

After continuous pressure, Burns put the home-side two goals ahead in the 68th minute. It was Donnelly who provided the assist.

It then looked like it was 3-0 to the Canaries, but Lench was flagged offside after heading an in-swinging ball from Lewis Rolfe in to the back of the net.

Moment later, an off-target shot from Burns flashed across the box, almost providing the perfect cross for Donnelly to tap in. The power of the shot, however, just took the ball away from the feet of the Hitchin forward.

Bell then finished the game with a great save to deny the visitors any consolation - the Canary keeper spreading himself wide to block a shot from Shama.

Full-Time

Hitchin Town 2-0 Banbury United

Hitchin: Bell, Rolfe, Walster (Corran 75'), Ann (C), Webb, Barker, McNamara, Lench (Martin 80') Donnelly (Noone 90') Burns, Smith Unused Subs: Johnson, Chabata.

Banbury United: Bedwell, Cray (C), Lynn (Mzungwana 77'), Martin, White, Westbrook, Walcott (Tappin 43'), Jervis, Shama, Talabi (Howard's 60') Browne Unused Subs: Fishwick, Hartigan

Bookings:

Yellow: Walster, Lench (Hitchin); Browne (Banbury)

Red: Jervis (Banbury)

Attendance: 288

Man of the Match: Alasan Ann

Sascha



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