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Histon 5 Hitchin Town 1

Saturday, September 19 2015

Hitchin suffered a calamitous second half at the Glassworld Stadium. The Canaries half time lead was overturned as the home side discovered their form and put five past a shell-shocked Hitchin.

 

Hitchin had to make changes from Monday’s FA Cup epic. Alasan Ann was absent after a midweek operation and Kane Smith was not available, while Stuart Pearson was still absent; however Sam Barker was able to return and Mark Burke opted for a back four.

 

Hitchin took a while to settle, as Histon went in search of an early goal with Auger and Ives firing wide.

 

However the Canaries settled into the match with Callum Donnelly pulling the strings. They had opportunities in the first quarter of the match as first Burns and then Kirkpatrick found shooting positions, but their efforts lacked the venom to fully test Gerrar in the Histon goal.

 

The match was end-to-end however with Gerrar saving from a Kirkpatrick shot after the Hitchin number 9 had pounced on a defensive slip, and Horlock saving from a Freeman shot.

 

A goal did arrive though on 27 minutes and it fell to Hitchin after good play between Kirkpatrick and Burns. The ball found Matt Lench at the back post and he fired home from a tight angle.

 

Histon responded positively with Horlock making a good save from Freeman, who had been put in by Oyinsan. However Hitchin also had chances to add to their tally.

 

McNamara found space in the penalty area and set up Burns for a tap-in, but the assistant had flagged that McNamara had already been offside. Kirkpatrick then headed just wide after a Lench cross was chipped back into the centre by Callum Donnelly.

 

As the half came to a close, Will Wright become the centre of Histon’s attention. He was yellow-carded for a lunging challenge although no contact was made. Then, after he and Rolfe tangled with Oyinsan to clear the ball on the edge of the Hitchin area, the forward emerged clutching his face. Histon protested that Wright had struck Oyinsan but, after consulting his assistant, the referee kept his cards in his pocket and the defender avoided a second successive dismissal.

 

The first half, in which Hitchin had shaded it, ended with continued vociferous protests from Histon players, management and supporters.

 

HALF TIME Histon 0 Hitchin Town 1

 

Histon began the second half searching for an equaliser, and Dan Webb picked up Hitchin’s second yellow card as he stopped Nicholson in full flight. From the free kick though, Horlock made a great save to tip Auger's free kick over the bar. 

 

Histon did however grab their equaliser but in a manner that wasn’t expected. They had already been chasing down the Canaries defence when the ball was being played between the back four but on 53 minutes a ball to Bickerstaff was shinned by the defender from outside the area past the advancing Horlock. If it hadn’t proved to be significant, it would have been comical.

 

Hitchin battled to recover their momentum, with Donnelly having a shot saved by Gerrar, but their passing was not as smooth as it had been previously.

 

And Histon’s turnaround continued on 64 minutes with a quality goal as a cross from Luton loanee Trotman was accurately headed in by Ives, giving Horlock no chance.

 

Histon had their tails up and, although Nicholson failed to control a searching cross field ball when well placed, a third goal arrived six minutes later. Oyinsan set up Freeman up for a shot from distance that eluded Horlock.

 

Hitchin continued to try and make something happen but Histon got bodies in the way – mostly fairly although not in the case of Key, who body checked McNamara and was yellow carded. From the resultant freekick, Kirkpatrick fired over. Mark Burke tried a double substitution, with Martin and Corran for Barker and Bickerstaff, but the Histon goals continued to rain in as McNamara lost possession to Oyinsan. His shot was saved by Horlock but the ball rolled out to Nicholson who steered it home for 4-1.

 

To round off the scoring, Nicholson was allowed room to run at the defence and slid the ball past Horlock on 85 minutes.

 

The final result was a shock to both sets of fans. Having appeared comfortable for over half the match, Hitchin’s subsequent collapse was cause for concern but – as happened after the 5-1 reverse at Merthyr, when they beat Dunstable – the Canaries have an early chance to put matters right when they host Bedworth on Monday night.

 

FINAL SCORE: Histon 5 Hitchin Town 1

 

Teams:

 

Histon - Gerrar, Trotman, Tilney, Key, Rumens (cap), McGowan, Freeman, Auger, Oyinsan, Ives, Nicholson

Subs – White (for Tilney), Brown, Meacher (for Freeman), Fulcher (for Ives), Uttridge

 

Hitchin - Horlock, Rolfe, Bickerstaff, Wright, Webb (cap), Barker, McNamara, Donnelly, Kirkpatrick, Burns, Lench

Subs – Martin (for Barker), Johnson, Corran (for Bickerstaff), Walster, Payne

 

Cards:

 

Histon – Key

 

Hitchin – Wright, Webb, Donnelly, Kirkpatrick

 

Attendance: 318

 

Colin



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