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Poole Town 2 Hitchin Town 2

Saturday, April 11 2015

Hitchin came away with one point and would not have been flattered if they had taken all three in an entertaining game against stuttering Poole Town.

The Canaries came into the match playing a single striker - Simon Martin - and reinforcing the midfield with the return of Sam Barker. They got off to a perfect start with a goal after 6 minutes. After McNamara won a corner, Poole failed to clear Simon Martin's effort and the ball fell to Dan Webb who fired into the top of the net from close range.

After the goal, Hitchin continued to push forward and prey on Poole's nerves. McNamara forced Hutchings to rush out and clear as he broke through on goal, while Rees also attempted a couple of shots. However, after an enforced break to replace one of the assistant referees,  the pattern of the game changed when Poole made a tactical substitution replacing Lindsay with Quigley in a positive move.

Almost immediately, the ball was played in to Gillespie who turned well and fired home into the corner of  Horlock's goal on 41 minutes.

Poole now looked more threatening with Butcher shooting over after good work by Quigley and the half time whistle was more of a relief for Hitchin when it came.

HALF TIME Poole Town 1 Hitchin Town 1

After the break Hitchin appeared to have retaken the initiative. McNamara had a chance as a Hitchin corner was flicked on the the winger at the far post but his shot was just wide. However it was the hosts that broke the deadlock on 57 minutes. A freekick on the left, taken by Emmerson, reached Burbridge on the other side of the goal. He played the ball back into the box and Spetch fired home off the crossbar.

In a matter of minutes, though, Hitchin had levelled the score. A cross from the right by Kane Smith evaded everyone and arrived with Ian Rees on the far side of the area. Poole's defence was absent and the Number 11 had time to position himself and pick his spot as he fired home on the hour.

While Poole made further attacking substitutions, Hitchin now looked the better side and Hutchings was the busier keeper. He particularly thwarted McNamara, first making a good save from a shot after Kirkpatrick put the winger through, and then rushing out to clear with his feet when the same player was put through by Martin.

Near the end there was a welcome return for Matt Lench as Hitchin remained in command. While the hosts had one late shout for a penalty, which was turned down, the point was justified reward for a good performance against the nervous title contenders as well as extending the Canaries unbeaten run.

FULL TIME Poole Town 2 Hitchin Town 2

Poole - Hutchings Tallack Spetch Lindsay Whisken Pettefer Burbridge Devlin Butcher Gillespie Emmerson
Subs - Quigley (for Lindsay) Lowes (for Devlin) Walsh (for Emmerson); not used Thorpe Roberts

Hitchin - Horlock Rolfe Smith Ann Webb Kirkpatrick McNamara C Donnelly Martin Barker Rees
Subs - Lench (for Rees); not used Corran Johnson Pearson Brooks

Poole - Gillespie (42) Spetch (57)
Hitchin - Webb (6) Rees (60)

Att 431


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