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Bideford AFC 2 Hitchin Town 1

Saturday, October 25 2014

Hitchin have a poor record at Bideford and this 2-1 defeat continued the pattern. It was not a game to remember and Hitchin never reached the level they are capable of as an ordinary Bideford side came out on top. Team news saw David Corran replacing Alasan Ann in central defence as Ann had to work. Tinashe Chabata was also unavailable while Callum Donnelly was missing due to his heart irregularity meaning there were just three substitutes.
Tahj Bell was soon in action saving well from Nick Barker after just three minutes, and he did well to stop a shot from Ben Watson soon after. Bideford keeper Grant Fisher was booked for handling outside the area before Jonny McNamara shot just wide. McNamara made a great challenge in his own box to prevent a goal before Bell saved the follow up from Richard Groves.
Matt Lench had a shot blocked with Dan Webb shooting wide from the rebound after 23 minutes and Lench again forced a save in the next minute but in truth Hitchin did not carry much threat in the first half. It got worse when Webb scored an unlucky own goal after 35 minutes and he then got booked right on half time.
Brett Donnelly missed Hitchin's best chance after 48 minutes missing the target with the keeper stranded off his line and to make matters worse Bideford scored their second goal a minute later, the ever dangerous Sean Downing on target after some sloppy defending. But Hitchin did produce a response and a comical own goal by Milton after an error by keeper Fisher after 53 minutes brought them back in the game.
Bell made an excellent save from Groves but Hitchin enjoyed their best spell of the game. Harry O'Malley replaced Ben Walster with Lewis Rolfe moving to left back and soon after McNamara produced a good cross that Robbie Burns was unable to convert as the ball caught between his feet. Hitchin failed to trouble the keeper despite their improvement and the last part of the game became very disjointed  as Bideford engaged in some blatant time wasting that the referee did nothing to stop.
Overall this was a disappointing display and at the moment the midfield is not operating at the same level as earlier in the season and confidence has taken a knock with the recent run of defeats. But Hitchin must look to turn things round with a gruelling journey to Paulton looming on Tuesday, before a tough FA Trophy tie at Burnham on Saturday.
Hitchin  Bell, Rolfe, Walster, Corran, Barker, Webb, McNamara, Lench, B Donnelly, Burns, Smith, Subs Martin for Rolfe 86, Johnson, O'Malley for Walster 59
Bideford  Fisher, Milton, Barker, Downing, Gerring, Villis, Groves, Reed, Watson Veal  Subs Squire for Watson 84, Sampson, Barnes, Mercieca
Hitchin Webb, O'Malley, McNamara
Bideford  Fisher, Watson
Attendance 205
Roy Izzard

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