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Paulton Rovers 3 Hitchin Town 0

Wednesday, October 29 2014

It is fair to say that Hitchin Town FC have had better days. An horrendous journey with massive traffic problems meant the coach arrived at 7.35 and the players barely had chance to warm up before the 8.04 kick off. This wholly predictable problem further underlines how crazy the Southern League fixture list is this year. Why on earth have Hitchin and Paulton played each other midweek when it should obviously be a Saturday game? Add this to many clubs having an imbalance of home and away games and many clubs having already played each other twice before the half way point of the league and you wonder how such situations were allowed by the fixture compilers.
The game started evenly on a good playing surface. Charlie Smith shot wide after three minutes but Hitchin came even closer when Matt Lench had a shot come down off the underside of the bar but fail to cross the line after 22 minutes. However the turning point of the game came on 28 minutes after Jonny McNamara was shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident. It was the linesman who ‘advised’ the referee on what had happened and poor McNamara was totally crestfallen as he vehemently denied any foul play and could not be consoled as he protested his innocence.
The sending off obviously made life much harder for the Canaries but they reached half time on level terms. However the evening took another turn for the worse as Alasan Ann was unable to come out for the second half due to injury and Ben Walster came on at left back with Dave Corran moving in to the centre.
In the 53rd minute Hitchin failed to cut out a right wing cross and Dean Evans powered home a header. It got worse five minutes later as Mike Bryant scored from close range and this effectively sealed the game. Sam Barker came close with a shot just over the bar but Hitchin rarely threatened the Paulton goal. Elliot Gibbons score a third in the 85th minute to complete a thoroughly miserable evening. There remained the four hour journey home and the coach reached Top Field at 2.20am.
Obviously Hitchin are going through a bad patch at the moment and confidence is low but the players showed earlier in the season what they are capable of and it will need plenty of hard work to get back to those standards. Everybody must pull together and get back to winning ways.
Bell, O’Malley, Corran, Ann, Webb, Barker, McNamara, Lench, Donnelly, Rolfe, Smith  Subs Martin, Johnson, Burns for Smith 80, Chabata for Corran 86, Walster for Ann 46
Phillips, Tovey, Anson, Williams, Brice, Barnes, Knowles, Bryant, Wilson, Davies, Evans Subs Gibbons for Davies 77, Jeffries, Jefferies for Bryant, Pollard for Barnes, Paice
Hitchin  Donnelly, Corran
Paulton Tovey
Sendings Off
Hitchin  McNamara
Attendance  168
Roy Izzard

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