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Hertford Town 3 Hitchin Town 2

Tuesday, November 11 2014

This really was a night to forget for Hitchin. Losing to lower league opposition who had been reduced to ten men for three quarters of the game was bad enough but the worrying sight of Callum Donnelly leaving the pitch in some distress near the end of the game made a bad night worse. Callum was taken to Lister Hospital  and was detained overnight and we all hope he can overcome his heart condition.
Hitchin played a 4-1-2-1-2 formation with Michael Noone playing in front of the back four and Andrew Osei-Siribour playing behind Brett Donnelly and Simon Martin. Callum Donnelly and Lewis Rolfe were in midfield while Tahj Bell returned in goal with Tinashe Chabata partnering Dan Webb in central defence and Harry O’Malley and Dave Corran playing as full backs.
Osei-Siribour shot over the bar and Noone had a shot deflected wide early on before Brett Donnelly and Jamie Smith were booked for a skirmish. When Smith fouled Callum Donnelly in the 23rd minute he was shown a second yellow card and Hertford were down to ten men. But just five minutes later the hosts took the lead and it was Charlie K Smith who scored from close range after a cross from Leigh Rose.
Brett Donnelly had a header blocked by keeper Harry Ricketts and Webb’s header from O’Malley’s cross was also saved. But a minute in to injury time Jordon Watson reacted quicker than the Hitchin defenders after Bell spilled a free kick from Charlie E Smith to put Hertford two up.
Hitchin got back in the game when Brett Donnelly produced a good finish after 55 minutes and could have equalised soon after. But generally Hitchin were unconvincing and the momentum faded somewhat. Matt Lench replaced O’Malley  and it appeared Hitchin had got out of jail when Rolfe produced a cross that deceived Ricketts and flew in the net in the 89th minute. But disaster occurred two minutes later when the impressive Rose scored an excellent winner for Hertford. This late flurry of action followed Callum Donnelly’s sad departure in the 84th minute.
So Hitchin’s poor run continues and reasons for the slump seem varied. The loss of key players Alasan Ann and Sam Barker is a real blow  as is the loss of Stuart Pearson who has not played a single game. Callum Donnelly has had health problems and constant changes in personnel have undoubtedly upset the usually  solid back line. This coupled with goal scoring problems and a loss of form by too many players has led to a complete loss of confidence throughout the side. It does not seem that long ago that Hitchin gave such a good display at Chesham with basically the same players so the current difficult situation can be addressed but a lot of hard work will be required.
Hitchin  Bell, O’Malley, Corran, Chabata, Webb, Rolfe, Osei-Siribour, C Donnelly, B Donnelly, Martin, Noone  Subs  Lench for Osei-Siribour 74, Johnson, Burns for C Donnelly 84, Walster for Webb 90+3, Okojie.
Hertford  Ricketts, Clemo, Hardy, C E Smith, C K Smith, J Smith, Cleaver, James, Leigh Rose, Wade, Watson,  Subs  Louis Rose for C K Smith 74, Ruff for James 74, Campbell for Cleaver 61,Fraser, Buffonge
Attendance 72
Sending off
Hertford Smith
Hitchin B Donnelly
Hertford  Wade, Ruff
Roy Izzard

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