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Chesham United 1 Hitchin Town 1

Tuesday, August 11 2015

Hitchin got their first point of the season with a spirited display at Chesham.

The Canaries made one change to the line-up that lost to Stratford with Pearson reinforcing the defence and Kirkpatrick dropping to the bench.

The early stages saw both sides looking for an opening but not fashioning any clear chances, although Hitchin made full use of their wingbacks as both Kane Smith and Bickerstaff were involved in early build up play. Indeed Smith fired the first Hitchin shot of the night just wide.

The hosts also posed a threat as a lucky deflection saw the ball land at Pearce’s feet. However no-one could connect properly with his cross from the right as Hitchin managed to block the threat.

Hitchin continued to push forward but from one such attack they were nearly undone. Chesham broke quickly and Wadkins nodded the ball into the path of the lively Ryan Blake. The striker was clean through but Horlock stood tall and pulled off a great save to turn the ball away for a corner.

Hitchin in turn nearly split the Chesham defence as Donnelly dinked a ball over the top for Martin to outpace Ujah. The number 5, whose competition with Martin had been a feature of the first half, brought the striker down for a free kick and a yellow card. From a central position just outside the area, Lench's free kick curled just over the bar.

Half time Chesham 0 Hitchin 0

The hosts emerged after the interval looking to up the tempo, with Blake continuing to threaten with his pace and Youngs trying to orchestrate.

Hitchin responded with Lench pouncing on a poor clearance but being knocked off the ball before he could shoot, while a dangerous Bickerstaff cross was just cleared before Martin could connect.

Although Wadkins headed a Youngs free kick just wide, Hitchin were having the better of matters. Legg in the Chesham goal pulled off two fine saves in succession – first from a dipping low shot by Lench after the Number 11 had cleverly turned into space, and then from a rising drive by Martin.

The Hitchin pressure did pay off though on 64 minutes. McNamara ran on to a flicked pass, accelerated clear of his defender and slotted past Legg.

Hitchin replaced Martin - who had worked tirelessly while trying to bring others into the game - while Chesham were able to bring on an even more experienced striker in Barry Hayles. While another teasing free kick from Lench forced a save from Legg, the changes seemed to encourage Chesham as Hitchin defended deeper.

On 80 minutes, Chesham were back in the game. Blake beat his man on the left hand byline and crossed low to the nearpost. The ball appeared to squirm past Horlock although there was a shout for a foul on the keeper in the crowded 6 yard box. The ball ran to Youngs in front of goal and he converted the chance.

Chesham were now looking to snatch a winner and were threatening from free kicks conceded under the mounting pressure. Lench conceded a kick, and earned a yellow card, from which Blake fired across the goal face. Wadkins then had an effort blocked and finally, from a foul conceded by Alasan Ann, Pearce fired over.

Hitchin had half chances as Lench dived to reach a McNamara cross and the latter had one more dangerous run into the box. However no further goals followed.

When the referee finally blew after a lengthy period of stoppage time, Hitchin could celebrate a third successive unbeaten visit to Chesham and a good performance, if not the 3 points that some of their play had certainly deserved.

Final Score: Chesham United 1 Hitchin Town 1


Chesham United - Legg, A Smith, Little (cap), Stewart, Ujah, Taylor, Pearce, Youngs, Blake, Wadkins, Wilson

Subs - Fongho, Gore, Fletcher, Beasant (for Ujah), Hayles (for Taylor)

Hitchin Town - Horlock, K Smith, Bickerstaff, Ann (cap), Webb, Pearson, McNamara, Donnelly, Martin, Rolfe, Lench

Subs - Kirkpatrick, Johnson, Burns, Corran, Wright (for Martin)

Attendance: 351


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