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Hitchin Town 2 Corby Town 4

Monday, January 19 2015

Hitchin suffered another home defeat on Monday evening as promotion-chasing Corby Town triumphed 4-2 at Top Field. 

Hitchin started the game brightly and had an early chance courtesy of the determination of Brett Donnelly and Jonny McNamara. Donnelly initiated the attack - pressuring Paul Malone in to a botched clearance which fell nicely to McNamara. The Canary winger lost his marker with ease and his dangerous cross forced Edi Appleton in to conceding a corner. Donnelly was almost rewarded for his initial hard work, but after doing well to free himself within the busy box, the Canaries' frontman shot wide of the post.

The early chance was a warning for the visitors and they quickly retaliated to the home side's threat. Within minutes of Donnelly's chance, Corby's Cleveland Taylor lofted the ball forward for Spencer Weir-Daley, who had timed his run perfectly through the centre of the defence. Much to the home side's relief, Canaries' goalkeeper Charlie Horlock was quick of his line - sliding in to remove the ball from immediate danger.

The lively start set the tone for an action-packed game, and sure enough, the first goal came in just the 7th minute -  Corby's Wilson Carvalho poking the ball in to the back of the net after the Hitchin defence failed to deal with a cross. 

The game became increasingly open and both sides tried to capitalise on the counter-attacks that were gifted to them. A poor touch from Weir-Daley allowed McNamara to go on the attack but his cross failed to find Donnelly in the box and Corby had time to clear. 

Seconds later, McNamara was again on the attack. After deceiving both Kalern Thomas and Malone, the tricky player ventured up the wing once more before putting in a low cross that was just too far in front of Callum Donnelly.

For all of Hitchin's determination, it was Corby who profited from the open game, adding to their lead in the 16th minute through Elliott Chamberlain's header. 

Not deterred, Hitchin were finally rewarded for their persistence in the 23rd minute. Unconvincing defending from the visitors at a Hitchin corner, left the ball in a pinball motion, before eventually falling to Alasan Ann. The Canaries' captain stretched out to poke the ball forward to Dan Webb who then slotted home from close-range to make it 2-1.

The Canaries then had an opportunity to level the score, with McNamara beating the offside trap before venturing forward for one v. one against goalkeeper Paul Walker. Walker correctly decided to rush out of his goal, doing just enough to force McNamara wide and give his trailing defence time to get back.

A long-range effort from Carvalho in the 41st minute sailed in to the arms of Horlock before an unexpected shot from Webb took a deflection that had Walker backtracking and doing well to prevent a corner.

Seconds before the half-time whistle, Chamberlain struck the ball with some force, stinging the palms of Horlock who parried the ball to safety.

Half-Time: Hitchin Town 1-2 Corby Town

An early shot from Corby's Shane Byrne stung the palms of Horlock before the keeper made a comfortable catch at the resulting corner.

The visitors were then awarded a free-kick just outside the area in the 48th minute, with captain Taylor stepping up and promptly curling the ball in to the back of the net with confidence. Horlock had little chance of keeping it out.

Corby were then predictably full of confidence, although the home side maintained the determined attitude that had been present from the start of the game. There was, however, an element of frustration from the Canaries, which was evident by wild, long-range efforts from both McNamara and Matt Lench.

Hitchin then gifted Corby with a fourth goal in the 75th minute, with Appleton left unmarked in the box to loft the ball in to back of the net after an initial corner failed to be cleared.

Minutes later, Horlock made an excellent save to deny Greg Mills, with the keeper diving to the Corby player's feet. 

The momentum remained with the visitors and it took a well-timed block from Ben Walster to deny Weir-Daley a goal before Horlock was again called in to action to save Ben Milnes' effort.

Hitchin finally stole the momentum from their confident opposition in the 84th minute, when a clever, chipped shot from substitute Simon Martin hit the back of the net to make it 4-2.

The goal injected a late spark in to the Canaries and seconds after Martin's goal, McNamara saw his long-range effort rattle the crossbar. 

It was an excellent strike and Corby would have been relieved to see the ball go behind for a goal-kick. Although, it would have made an interesting end to what was an already action-packed game, had it gone in.

Full-Time: Hitchin Town 2-4 Corby Town

Teams:
Hitchin: Horlock, Rolfe, Walster, Ann (C), Webb, Barker, McNamara, Lench (Martin 79'), B. Donnelly, C.Donnelly (Rees 79'), Kirkpatrick (Noone 52')
Subs (not used): O'Malley, Williams
Corby: Walker, Kennedy, Thomas (Anton 45'), Malone, Appleton, Byrne (Milnes 68'), Mills, Taylor (C), Chamberlain (Morgan 75'), Weir-Daley, Carvalho
Subs (not used): Donkin, Wright

Goals:

Hitchin: Webb 23', Martin 84'

Corby: Carvalho 7', Chamberlain 16', Taylor 48', Appleton 75'

Bookings: Hitchin: C. Donnelly; Corby: Taylor, Appleton

Attendance: 248

Hitchin Man of the Match: Sam Barker

Sascha



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