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Hitchin Town 3 St Neots Town 4

Monday, October 6 2014

An injury time winner for St. Neots piled on the misery for the Canaries as they suffered a 4-3 defeat at Top Field.

Hitchin started brightly, with Robbie Burns having an early shot which required Saints goalkeeper Jamie Greygoose to make a save.

St. Neots, however, took an early lead in the fourth minute via Nathan Frater. The Saints number nine needed little encouragement to go for goal, taking one touch to neatly control the ball and then firing over the head of Tahj Bell with his second.

The early goal did little to deter Hitchin and they continued to press their opponents. Jonny McNamara looked lively in midfield as he looked to create something for his teammates - a nice ball through to Burns looking promising before the flag was raised for offside and then providing a cross which was just over the head of Brett Donnelly.

Hitchin's hard work did eventually  pay off in the 20th minute when Brett Donnelly grabbed an equaliser for the home side. It was Lewis Rolfe who spotted the Canary forward in space upfield and promptly lofted the ball straight up to him. Brett kept his cool, waited for the ball to sit up and then fired the ball past Greygoose.

Seconds after the restart, Callum Donnelly forced the keeper to make a save after his effort from outside the box was full of power and on-target.

Hitchin then had another opportunity moments later when unconvincing keeping from the away side gave the Canaries some breathing space in the box. It was Sam Barker who found himself on the end of a cross but his header was wide of the target. 

Poor set-play defending from the Canaries then gifted the visitors with the lead once more  - Ollie Thorne beating Tahj to the ball and heading in to the back of the net in the 30th minute.

The lead, however, lasted just two minutes thanks to great feet from McNamara, who skipped his way in to the box before slipping the ball across to Lench who slotted home for the equaliser.

Hitchin's David Corran then provided the Canaries with another opportunity - the defender continuing to support an attack upfield and then putting an excellent cross in to the box. An unmarked Lench made a great run in to the area to meet the ball but his shot was wide.

It was then Lewis Rolfe's turn to venture upfield from defence as he chased down the ball from a poor Burns pass. It was an impressive feat for the Canary defender to even reach the ball but Rolfe went one better as he crossed in to Brett Donnelly, who got a head to the ball but was unbalanced, consequently forcing his header off-target. 

Lench had a shot palmed away by Greygoose before Canary Captain Alasan Ann gave the home side the lead for the first time - slotting the ball in to the back of the net in the 41st minute. 

Hitchin Town 3-2 St. Neots Town

St. Neots started the second-half the brighter side, restricting Hitchin's possession and desire to attack. 

An injury to Arthur Lee (St. Neots) after a challenge by Lench halted the game for some time, with Lee eventually being stretchered off of the field.

Bell then did well to deny Max York - the Canary keeper getting down quickly to deny York the equaliser.

After constant pressure from the away side, Drew Roberts eventually netted the equaliser in the 85th minute. The Saints forward met the ball at the far post for a tap in.

It was then a case of Canary heartbreak as the visitors took the lead once more in the 92nd minute. It was substitute Matt Nolan who put the ball in to the back of the net.
Hitchin were then predictably desperate for an equaliser but St. Neots were resilient in defence and consequently picked up all three points in what was an entertaining and hard-fought contest at Top Field.

Hitchin Town 3-4 St. Neots Town

Hitchin: Bell, Rolfe, Corran, Ann, Chabata, Barker, McNamara, Donnelly C, Donnelly B, Burns, Lench Unused Subs: Walster, Johnson (GK), Powell, Osei-Siribour, Noone.
St. Neots: Greygoose, York, Lee (Ferrari 70'), Wilson, Thorne, Hoyte, Farrell (Ford 56'), Spring, N. Frater (Nolan 65'), Roberts, Hilliard 
Unused Subs: Peacock, R. Frater


B. Donnelly 20', Lench 32', Ann 41' (Hitchin Town)
Frater 4', Thorne 30', Roberts 85', Nolan 92' (St. Neots)

C. Donnelly (Hitchin)
York (St. Neots)

Attendance: 291

Hitchin Man of the Match: Alasan Ann


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