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Chesham United 0 Hitchin Town 1

Tuesday, September 9 2014

A 1-0 win with the goal coming in the 90th minute may appear to indicate a very close match but nothing could be further from the truth. In reality this was a comprehensive Hitchin victory and the only reason the scoreline did not reflect this was a superb goalkeeping display by Shane Gore who made a number of top class saves to prove he remains one of the League's best goalkeepers.

Hitchin were unrecognisable from the side that went down with a whimper at Truro. This was a performance in keeping with manager Mark Burke's philosophy. They pressed continually never giving Chesham a chance to settle and unlike Saturday it was a high energy performance with crisp incisive passing and resolute defending.

Burke had obviously been alarmed by events at Truro and from the first whistle it was obvious the players were determined to put things right. The team had a different look with Callum Donnelly returning after securing a transfer from Cambridge City on the day while Michael King had been loaned to Cambridge for a month. Gary Wharton was injured while Dan Webb and Charlie Smith returned to the side with Garry Jones and David Corran dropping to the bench.

Hitchin lined up 4-2-3-1 with Webb partnering Alasan Ann in central defence, Smith and Sam Barker the holding midfielders behind Callum Donnelly who had a free role in the middle with Matt Lench and Jonny McNamara continually switching wings.  Brett Donnelly again put in a great shift as the lone striker.

Hitchin made a really positive start and Barker and McNamara had early shots.  Gore produced a fine save from  Lench after 14 minutes which was a sign of things to come before Callum Donnelly was unlucky with a clever lob. Ex Canary Ryan Laville (formerly Charles) replaced Ryan Blake after 27 minutes but was himself replaced in the second half.

Hitchin remained on top and Lench hoped for a penalty after going down in the box after a good McNamara set up but the referee disagreed. Lench finished the half with a brilliant shot that unfortunately hit the post.

Brett Donnelly was denied a goal when Gore brilliantly saved his header after 59 minutes and the keeper excelled again when keeping out Barker's shot soon after. It seemed Gore would deny Hitchin the win they so deserved until a cynical foul by Richard Graham on Lench led to a free kick in the 90th minute that was prodded home by Webb who had been immaculate on his return from injury. So justice was done and the large Hitchin following went home with wide smiles on their faces.

Hitchin  Johnson, Rolfe, Walster, Ann, Webb, Barker, McNamara, C Donnelly, B Donnelly, Lench, Smith 
Subs Jones, Corran, Burns for C Donnelly 76, Martin for B Donnelly 82, Chabata.
Chesham  Gore, Smith, Lynn, Brown, Fletcher, Ballard, Pearce, Graham, Blake, Thomas, Bell  
Subs Cooper, Hamilton, Braithwaite for Lynn 55, Laville for Blake 27, Towner for Laville 67

Hitchin  B Donnelly
Chesham  Towner and Ballard

Attendance 333

Roy Izzard

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