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Hitchin Town 4 Chesham United 1

Saturday, January 24 2015

Hitchin were back to winning ways on Saturday afternoon as they came from a goal behind to triumph 4-1 over Chesham United.

It was the visitors who initially looked the brighter side, earning a free-kick in the opening minute which Luke Allen put wide. 

Minutes later, Simon Thomas had time and space to get a shot away but his scuffed effort allowed Matt Lench to clear.

Hitchin were not without their chances in the early stages though and Jonny McNamara did well to swivel away from his marker before lofting the ball in to the box for Simon Martin - his header requiring a fingertip save from Chesham goalkeeper Shane Gore.

The visitors continued to pressure the Hitchin defence and a great block from Sam Barker denied Toby Little's shot, while Daniel Braithwaite headed wide from a Chesham corner.
Chesham were awarded for their persistence in the 28th minute, with Thomas on the end of Ashley Smith's cross and heading past Charlie Horlock from close range.

The visitors' lead didn't last long though, as just two minutes later, Gore gifted the hosts with a penalty after rushing out and bundling McNamara to the ground. Lewis Rolfe took on his regular penalty taking role and put the ball in the back of the net with confidence to draw the Canaries level.

The equaliser immediately gave Hitchin the momentum and seconds after the restart the Chesham defence had to clear shots from Barker and Michael Noone.

The Canaries then took the lead in the 39th minute, with Martin, Brett Donnelly and Noone all involved. It was Martin who initiated the attack, passing the ball to Donnelly, who in turn passed to Noone. Noone spotted Martin's well timed run in to box, lifting the ball forward, which Martin chested down before firing past Gore.

Half-Time: Hitchin Town 2-1 Chesham United

Hitchin extended their lead just eight minutes in to the second-half. It was  Barker who spotted Donnelly unmarked in the box, playing a clever ball through to him which the Canaries' forward made the most of as he slotted past Gore.

With the visitors now two goals behind, they started to press the Hitchin defence a little more. Thomas and Little both had shots go in to the arms of Horlock, Little had half a chance at a free-kick but saw his effort skim the top of the net and Dave Pearce wasted an opportunity when he blasted the ball well off-target after initially doing well to tackle Noone off the ball. 

Dan Webb did his best to trouble the Chesham defence at set-plays and twice came close to scoring. His first was a free header which saw him uncharacteristically mistime his jump and head wide, before almost benefitting from a loose ball in the box which Gore did well to smother from the defender's feet.

Hitchin put the game out of sight in the 83rd minute, with McNamara played through on goal by Donnelly. The midfielder then rounded the keeper before anxiously seeing his shot hit the post before crossing the line of an empty net.

The visitors had one last chance to gain a consolation in injury time but Ryan Blake blazed the ball high and wide. 

Full-Time: Hitchin Town 4-1 Chesham United


Hitchin: Horlock, Rolfe, Walster, Ann (C), Webb, Barker, McNamara, Lench (Williams 88') B. Donnelly (Kirkpatrick 84'), Martin, Noone (Rees 74'). Subs (not used): Johnson, O'Malley
Chesham: Gore, Smith, Wood, Brown, Braithwaite, Allen, Towner (Bell 79'), Little, Blake, Thomas, Pearce. Subs (not used): Westlake, Payne, McConway, Rowe


Hitchin: Rolfe 30', Martin 39', Donnelly 53', McNamara 83'

Chesham: Thomas 28'

Yellow: Gore, Smith (Chesham)

Attendance: 371

Hitchin Man of The Match: Sam Barker


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