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Hitchin Town 3 Dunstable Town 2

Monday, November 24 2014

Manager Mark Burke was left contemplating how illogical football can be after this much needed win over Dunstable. He felt the team played better at Histon and better still at Slough compared to the Dunstable performance yet those two games yielded just one point between them compared to the three points gained here over their local rivals. It goes to prove results are more important than performances as far as a manager is concerned.

This result was coming after a dismal run of just one win in the previous 15 games. The return of key players has seen a big upturn in form in recent games and a battling win over Dunstable should really boost confidence levels for the coming weeks.

Team news saw Brett Donnelly again unable to start while Dan Green was ruled out by the injury he picked up at Slough. On the positive side Jonny McNamara returned from suspension to replace Green. The early stages of the game saw Dunstable bely their own recent poor run with a really positive start. Their passing and movement off the ball was causing the Hitchin defence all sorts of problems. Charlie Horlock made two good early saves and it was no surprise when the visitors took the lead in the 11th minute when ex Canary Inih Effiong scored from close range. A second goal at this stage would have been fatal but Hitchin again showed great character and in a remarkable turnaround turned a 1-0 deficit in to a 3-1 interval lead.

A 12th minute injury to Harry O'Malley led to a reshuffle with Lewis Rolfe moving to right back and Lewis Kirkpatrick coming on in midfield. Hitchin came in to the game with Rolfe forcing Luke Chambers to make a save and Nat Peacock hitting the post after a good move. The equaliser came from a magical free kick from Matt Lench from fully 35 yards out. The ball must have moved in the air as Chambers was totally deceived and ended up diving the wrong way.

Hitchin took the lead after 38 minutes when a brilliant pass from Kirkpatrick set Peacock free down the right wing and he in turn produced a quality cross that Simon Martin turned in with relish. Just two minutes later it was a case of deja vu when Peacock produced another sublime cross and this time Dan Webb provided a close range finish. Peacock worked tirelessly all evening and is an excellent addition to the squad and those two crosses helped to turn the game on its head. A 3-1 interval lead had looked highly improbable earlier but the new look Hitchin are again beginning to show the determination from earlier in the season.

The second half saw Hitchin defend deeper with Martin virtually playing in midfield and Dunstable were never able to show their earlier fluency. While there were some minor scares Hitchin looked more solid in the second half and in protecting the lead Peacock was left to plough a lone furrow up front but needs must and a win was vital. Sam Barker was back to his best form and won the man of the match award.

Unfortunately the late goal curse struck again when Steven Gregory scored from a cross in the 92nd minute and it was agony for all Hitchin fans as Mr Nowak played a no less than 9 minutes of injury time due to prolonged injury stoppages . But Hitchin held on and ultimately deserved their victory and there is no reason why they should not now look forward with optimism after a really trying period.

Teams

Hitchin Horlock, O'Malley, Corran, Ann, Webb, Barker, McNamara, Lench, Martin, Peacock, Rolfe Subs B Donnelly, Brooks, Kirkpatrick for O'Malley 12, Waldren for Rolfe 80, Chabata.

Dunstable Chambers, Beasant, May, Ruddick, Blackett, Gregory, Davies, Hutton, Effing, McKenzie-Lowe, Marsh Subs Hope forHutton 63, Shaw for McKenzie-Lowe 63, Fontanelle for Marsh 85, Henry.

Bookings

Hitchin None

Dunstable None

Attendance 215

Roy Izzard



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