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Dorchester Town 2 Hitchin Town 1

Saturday, October 18 2014

A 9-man Hitchin fell to their fifth consecutive defeat after losing 2-1 to Dorchester Town.

Hitchin looked the brighter side in the opening stages - Brett Donnelly getting an early cross in to the box that consequently was just too heavy for Robbie Burns to get to, and Jonny McNamara making the most of his speed by skipping around the back of the defence and chipping the ball across to a waiting Donnelly, Burns and Matt Lench - one of whom was offside.

Dorchester were forced in to an early substitution - an injured Ben Joyce being replaced by Sam Lanahan.

Dorchester had a good chance to take the lead, after a foul by Alasan Ann gifted the home side with a free-kick just outside the area. The busy box saw keeper Tahj Bell pull off a reaction save, with Lewis Rolfe then blocking the follow-up to clear. The clearance gave Hitchin the opportunity to counter-attack, and it was Lench who ran the length of the pitch and took a shot, which Magpies' goalkeeper Alan Walker-Harris pushed wide for a corner. Burns' corner was poor but he was fortunate to see the ball come back out to him. He spotted Lench at the top of the box, who's curling shot went just shy of the post.

Hitchin then took the lead in the 16th minute - Lewis Rolfe scoring from the penalty spot after McNamara was brought down.

Hitchin then had another chance moments later thanks to good work from Charlie Smith and McNamara. Smith headed the ball wide to McNamara, who then put the ball across the box to Donnelly. A good save from the Magpies' keeper and a clearance from captain Jake Smeeton prevented the visitors from extending their lead.

An altercation between Lewis Rolfe and Dan Smith saw both players pick up a yellow card.

Lench then had a shot on the half-volley, which was saved on to the path of Burns - his shot hitting the crossbar and out for a goal-kick.

Jack Odam then forced Bell to make a save after he found himself with enough time and space to take a shot from the edge of the box. Bell got a hand to it to tip it wide for a corner. The corner saw Lanahan shoot over the crossbar in what was the home side's best chance of the first-half.

The back and forth attacks continued as Hitchin then had an opportunity, after a cleared corner fell to Lench, who had room to take a shot, which consequently was well off-target.

A poor decision by Bell almost gifted the home-side with the equaliser. After wrongly deciding to rush out from the area to try and clear the ball from the feet of Odam, the goal was left open for the Magpies' forward. Much to Bell's relief, a last minute tackle from captain Alasan Ann saw the ball roll out for a corner.

Just before the half-time whistle, Matt Lench picked up a yellow card.

Dorchester Town 0-1 Hitchin Town

A double substitution for the home side saw Charlie Davis and Josh Kaye make way for Nathan Walker and Ryan Murray.

Lewis Rolfe paid the price of an early yellow card by being dismissed in the opening five minutes of the second-half. The referee had no choice but to send the defender off after a sloppy challenge on Smith.

Just a few minutes later, the home side capitalised on the man advantage and drew level through Odam (53').

Hitchin were then up against it, and Bell had to make two saves in quick succession to deny both Lanahan and Smith.

Brett Donnelly made way for Tanashe Chabata.

The home-side continued to dominate the second-half, although Hitchin were not completely restricted, and the visitors did create some half-chances. A good ball in from Charlie Smith was cleverly flicked on by Burns to Dan Webb, but the defender headed over the crossbar, and Sam Barker saw his long-range effort pushed wide.

Charlie Smith made way for Callum Donnelly in the 73rd minute. 

Dorchester's Nathan Walker picked up a yellow card for a foul on McNamara. 

The constant pressure from Dorchester had the travelling fans willing their side to hold on for the draw, but in the 85th minute, sloppy defending left Lanahan free to head the ball in to the back of the net to put the home-side ahead.

Jonny McNamara then picked up a yellow card for a late challenge.

With the game all but over, things got worse for the Canaries as they found themselves down to 9 men - Callum Donnelly receiving a straight red from an exasperated referee. 

Dorchester Town 2-1 Hitchin Town

Teams: Dorchester: Walker-Harris, Davis (Walker 45'), Kaye (Murray 45'), Gleeson, Smeeton (C), Dillon, Critenden, Robinson, Joyce (Lanahan 10'), Odam, Smith Unused Subs: Hanger, Oldring
Hitchin: Bell, Rolfe, Walster, Ann (C), Webb, Barker, McNamara, Lench, B. Donnelly (Chabata), Burns, Smith (C. Donnelly 73') Unused subs: Martin, Corran, Johnson

Lench, McNamara (Hitchin)
Smith, Walker (Dorchester)

Rolfe, C.Donnelly (Hitchin)

Rolfe 16' (p) (Hitchin)
Odam 53', Lanahan 85' (Dorchester)

Attendance: 401


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