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Hitchin Town 5 Chesham United 1

Monday, April 11 2016

Hitchin Town moved back to second place in the league with this comprehensive local derby win. They returned to winning ways after Saturday's draw with Poole Town; like Saturday, Hitchin's opponents had to play with a man short but this time the Canaries took full advantage. 
Hitchin welcomed back Alasan Ann into midfield where he was joined by Kane Smith, who filled the right hand berth with Will Wright stepping in at full back.  
After scrappy early exchanges, Hitchin stepped up the pace. A great crossfield ball from Bickerstaff  found Smith running forward. He was stopped illegally by Ford who was yellow-carded. Walster took the freekick and his fierce shot flew wide of the far post.  
Callum Donnelly then had two half chances – one a shot on the turn that just looped over the goal and the other when he took the ball wide after good work by Burns and shot over from an angle. 
Just past the half hour, Hitchin's big chance to break the deadlock arrived. In an incident that was almost a re-run of Saturday's flashpoint, Callum Donnelly had a shot stopped illegally by Gater. The referee awarded a penalty and showed the defender a straight red card. Ben Walster assumed penalty-taking responsibility and slammed the ball straight down the middle to give Hitchin the advantage on 32 minutes. 
Hitchin continued to take the game to Chesham, with Alasan Ann making a great run from the halfway line before his first effort was stopped and he was unable to follow up. Robbie Burns played a neat one-two with Brett Donnelly before sending in a dipping shot which Gore collected. 
However the Generals were not out of the game, as Beasant headed wide from a Pearce freekick, while Blake fired dangerously across the face of the goal. 
HALF TIME Hitchin Town 1 Chesham United 0 
After the break, Hitchin continued to pressurise with Brett Donnelly being caught narrowly offside after good work by Burns, while Callum Donnelly sent in a shot after being set up by Smith. 
On 57 minutes a second goal arrived, though, and it followed more good work by Smith. His low cross from the right was met by Brett Donnelly at the near post and the number 9 deflected it home. 
Chesham were still trying to get back into the game at this stage and came closest when a Fenton header from a corner hit the bar and bounced down. However any debate about whether it had crossed the line was stopped as he was penalised for a foul. 
Hitchin did not have to wait too long to extend their lead and it came through a fluent move in which Smith flicked the ball to Alasan Ann and he passed into the path of Brett Donnelly. His shot from the edge of the area beat Gore at his near post on 70 minutes. 
The Canaries then threatened to run riot as two more goals arrived in quick succession. On 72 minutes, after a scramble in the Chesham area in which Gore kept out one effort from Webb, the centre back's second effort - while on the floor - beat the keeper.  
Four minutes later, Callum Donnelly crossed from the right. The ball went behind Burns at the back post but he collected the ball, turned and picked his spot for Hitchin's fifth. 
Hitchin might have added more. Callum Donnelly set up Smith whose cross was nearly turned in by Fenton but went just wide for a corner. As that was half cleared, Bickerstaff found Webb who turned the ball in but had already been flagged offside. Callum Donnelly then beat the Chesham offside trap but shot straight at Gore, while Smith and substitute Barnes both forced saves from the visiting keeper and Fenton made a good clearance to deny the onrushing Donnelly and Brooks. 
Chesham gained a consolation goal in injury time through two of their substitutes as Taylor stretched in at the far post to meet a cross from Youngs. However Hitchin had put in a convincing performance that stands them in good stead for the remaining two league games. 
FINAL SCORE Hitchin Town 5 Chesham United 1  
Hitchin Town - Horlock, Wright, Walster, Ann, Webb, Rolfe, Smith, C Donnelly, B Donnelly, Burns, Bickerstaff 
Subs - Brooks (for B Donnelly), Johnson, Barnes (for Burns), Frendo (for Ann), Lench 
Chesham United - Gore, Gater, Ford, Beasant, Fenton, Wilson, Pearce, Hamilton-Forbes, Bossman, Blake, Martin 
Subs - Hayles, Taylor (for Martin), Youngs (for Blake), Morrissey, Little (for Ford) 
Hitchin Town – Walster 32 (pen), B Donnelly 57 and 70, Webb 72, Burns 76 
Chesham United – Taylor 90 
Red cards 
Chesham United – Gater 
Yellow cards 
Chesham United – Ford 
Attendance – 366 
Hitchin Town MOTM – Brett Donnelly

Colin (photo by Peter Else)

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