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Dunstable Town 2 Hitchin Town 1

Saturday, March 21 2015

Hitchin's unbeaten record was blown away at Creasey Park. Instead Dunstable banished a more unwanted record with their first home win in the league since September.

It could have been different had ex-Canary Charlie Smith been dismissed in the first half for kicking Lucas Kirkpatrick. Hitchin also paid the price for an injury to captain Alasan Ann - immediately conceding the winning goal to another Canary cast-off Jamale McKenzie-Lowe.

Hitchin lined up without Webb and Barker although the presence of Stuart Pearson on the bench was a welcome sign for the future. Dunstable started with 3 ex-Canaries on the field and another 2 on the bench.

The early exchanges saw Peacock make a couple of dangerous runs, one of which required goalie May to rush out and clear, while McKenzie-Lowe shot into the side netting for the hosts.

Dunstable took the lead on 19 minutes when a crossfield ball from Talbot to Henry on their right flank saw the wide man run rings around Walster. The foul had an air of inevitability and Marsh fired the penalty down the middle past the diving Horlock.

However it did not take long for Hitchin to get back into the game and they did so with an excellent move. A long ball from Noone found Peacock wide on the right. He sent in a low cross which was met by Rees timing his run to the near post and flicking the ball past May for the equaliser on 24 minutes.

At this point Hitchin pushed on and, after a shot wide by Kirkpatrick, the midfielder was involved in an incident on 35 minutes which might have changed the game. He tussled for the ball with Charlie Smith, who was playing in an unusual full back position, and after the ball had gone Smith kicked out at Lucas under the gaze of the assistant referee. The referee consulted his assistant but astonishingly awarded a yellow card to each player rather than a straight red to the defender.

This did not deter Hitchin as good play by Peacock and Kirkpatrick freed McNamara who ran at Smith and, while appearing to be held back, still got in a shot which May pushed away. From the ensuing corner, Noone shot just over.

HALF TIME Dunstable Town 1 Hitchin Town 1

The start of the second half saw a more even passage of play as Dunstable - prompted by Dixon, who although lacking pace, showed good vision and touch - tried to push on. While getting little change out of Kane Smith, who acquitted himself well again, they tried to pressure Walster. The full back did however get in one very good block on Henry.

After 61 minutes the home pressure told. A shot by Dixon went for a corner after some good build up by Watkins and McKenzie-Lowe. Critically, before the corner was taken, Alasan Ann had to leave the field. 

Before the defence could marshal itself, Blackett's shot was parried by Horlock and the ball fell to McKenzie-Lowe who fired a low shot into the net. 

Walster moved into central defence, Noone moved to full back and Brett Donnelly came on to reinforce the attack. Brett made an immediate impression, receiving a great ball by Callum which he pulled out of the air while on the turn. However his shot just flew over. 

He and Peacock might both then have scored after a bad clearance from May fell to Kirkpatrick on the left. His ball into the box was first met by Peacock and then fired home by Brett but by then the offside flag had been raised.

Williams came on as a sub for Kirkpatrick who had a busy game despite being under the shadow of the yellow card. He and Brett both had shots that were gathered by May in the Dunstable goal but by this stage there was just as much chance of a third goal for the home side against the makeshift Canary defence, with Henry firing into the side netting and Watkins shooting wide.

In the end, this was a game that Hitchin should have expected to get a result from. Instead Tony Fontanelle's first game since being formally appointed manager at Dunstable saw The Duns raise their game to beat a Hitchin side for whom the end of the season appears to be beckoning.

FINAL SCORE Dunstable 2 Hitchin 1 

Dunstable - Charlie May, Danny May, Charlie Smith, Gregory (cap), Blackett, Talbot, Watkins, Henry, McKenzie-Lowe, Dixon, Marsh 
Subs - Bailey for Dixon, Jones for Henry; not used - Pedrycz, Fontanelle, Gardner

Hitchin - Horlock, Rolfe, Smith, Ann (cap), Walster, Kirkpatrick, McNamara, Callum Donnelly, Peacock, Rees, Noone
Subs - Donnelly for Ann, Williams for Kirkpatrick; not used Martin, Johnson, Pearson

Attendance 161


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