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Hitchin Town 1 Barton Rovers 1

Thursday, July 31 2014

The penultimate friendly saw Barton Rovers at Top Field. Now managed by Richard Wilmot and featuring a number of ex Canaries Barton provided a good test and it was a competitive game.
Hitchin made a sluggish start and Barton nearly took an early lead on two occasions firstly when James Peters hit the post and then when Conner Vincent forced an excellent save from Michael Johnson. However Hitchin soon settled down and began to dominate possession. Robbie Burns had a tame shot easily saved before releasing Matt Lench who in turn found Jonny McNamara who was caught on the wrong foot leading to a weak shot.
Gary Wharton shot wide after 41 minutes but Hitchin too often failed to make the most of some promising positions and it was goalless at half time. Mark Burke made a number of substitutions at half time as he had one final chance to weigh up some of the triallists. George Ironton had a shot saved before McNamara scored a brilliant goal in the 55th minute. A super 50 yard cross field pass from Lench was expertly controlled by McNamara before he executed a perfect chip over the goalkeeper.
Johnson saved from Nat Peacock while Lench forced a good stop from Kyle Forster as the game remained open. The sides eventually used fifteen  substitutes between them which did affect the flow of the game. The equaliser came in the 81st minute and it resulted from a misjudged tackle from Alasan Ann which left the referee pointing to the spot. Despite a valliant effort from Johnson, Keshi Anderson's penalty  found the back of the net.
The main object of the exercise was for  Burke to make final decisions on the fringe players and he has said  that he has now made his mind up. There is now just one friendly before the season properly starts on Monday with the Herts Charity Cup quarter final against Cheshunt. 
Hitchin  Johnson, Rolfe, Corran, Ann, Chibata, Lench, McNamara,  Wharton, King, Burns, Smith  Subs  Jones, Kirkpatrick, Osei-Siribour, Ironton, Amu, Cooper, Powell McNulty.
Barton  Forster, McDevitt, Vaughan, Reynolds, Kilroy, Lee, Peters, Vincent, Peacock, Young, Condon  Subs  Ottaway, Hamilton, Anderson, Lannon, L'Honore, Hassan Birch.
Attendance 136
Report by Roy Izzard

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