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Hitchin Town 0 Histon 0

Monday, March 16 2015

Hitchin and Histon shared the points on Monday evening, in what was a scrappy game that never really got out of first gear.

The first 15 minutes were fairly uneventful and both sides failed to settle in to the game. Jonny McNamara had half a chance early on but after doing well in pressuring the visiting defence, the midfielder could only scuff the ball in to the hands of Enol Ordonez.

Nat Peacock managed to free himself to the edge of the area at a Hitchin corner in the 16th minute, with Callum Donnelly spotting the striker's movement. Peacock's side-footed effort, however, went wide of the post.

Another corner from Donnelly minutes later looked promising but Histon captain Stuart Wall made an excellent clearance.

Histon were given the chance to break minutes later and it was Nick Freeman who found himself in acres of space, turning with ease before passing out wide to Luis McCoy. McCoy waited for the ball to sit up before striking towards goal, with a deflection off of Alasan Ann doing just enough to take the sting out of the ball and allow Charlie Horlock to gather.

Seconds later Sam Ives saw his powerful strike soar just high of the crossbar.

In the 36th minute, McNamara had his powerful strike punched away by an alert Ordonez.

Hitchin should have taken the lead just before the half time whistle, when a mix up between the visiting defence gifted Peacock with both the ball and the space to advance on goal. Much to the relief of the Stutes defence, Ordonez rushed out to save the Canary striker's shot before getting to his feet quickly to then deny McNamara the chance on goal.

Half Time: Hitchin Town 0-0 Histon

The second half started in much the same way the first half finished - scrappy and unconvincing from both sides.

Early frustration was evident by Donnelly's long range effort which was well off target.

On the hour mark, Horlock almost gifted the visitors with the opening goal. It was Freeman who had the initial shot, which was blocked by the Canaries defence. Horlock rushed out unnecessarily to try and retrieve a difficult ball but failed to reach it, with the ball then falling kindly for Ives. Horlock's decision had left an open goal for Ives to fire home but Kane Smith made a fine clearance off the line to deny the Histon forward.

Histon then started to grow in confidence and the Hitchin defence were being pressed, leaving little opportunity for them to slow the game down.

The scrappiness of the game was never more apparent than in the 69th minute, when commotion broke out in the Hitchin box. Ayrton Bevins and Ives were in the thick of the action but ultimately the box was full of flailing legs and half-chances to both shoot and clear. Horlock eventually retrieved the ball but the Hitchin defence were all over the place and were lucky not to find themselves a goal behind. Several Histon players were adamant that the ball had crossed the line at some stage but the referee was unmoved by the brief appeal.

Ordonez was arguably the visitors' man of the match and in the 87th minute he again pulled off two fine saves. His first was a great stop to deny Callum Donnelly from the edge of the area and seconds later he made an even better save to clear Ann's header.

Brett Donnelly's introduction seemed to have a positive affect on the home side, and the Canary forward partnered well with Peacock, who, up until then, had been isolated for much of the game.

In the 89th minute Smith took the initiative to venture upfield, poking the ball forward to Saul Williams, who then played the ball in to Peacock. Peacock had the space to turn but his shot soared over the crossbar.

Seconds later, Williams, Brett Donnelly and Peacock linked up well in what was a great opportunity to cause Histon heartbreak late on. Williams threw the ball in to the area, which Brett met and flicked on to Peacock, although the striker then headed over the crossbar.

Ryan Auger then capped off the game with an attempt to go for the spectacular but his effort was well off target.

Full Time: Hitchin Town 0-0 Histon

Hitchin: Horlock, Rolfe, Smith, Ann, Corran, Kirkpatrick (Williams 70'), McNamara, C. Donnelly, Peacock, Rees, Noone (B. Donnelly 76')
Subs (not used): Martin, Walster

Histon: Ordonez, York, Smith, Wall, Rumens, Fulcher, McCoy (Relazani 64'), Auger, Bevins, Ives, Freeman
Subs (not used): White, McDonald

Yellow Cards:
Rolfe, C.Donnelly (Hitchin)
Auger, Bevins (Histon)

Hitchin Man of the Match: Jonny McNamara
Attendance: 270

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