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Hungerford Town 1 Hitchin Town 1

Monday, September 28 2015

This was a pulsating game played at a fast and furious pace and was a great advert for the Southern League. Hungerford play at a really quick tempo and with their passionate manager Bobby Wilkinson demanding more effort throughout the game Hitchin had to be at their best. Indeed the first 45 minutes was possibly Hitchin’s finest this season as they not only weathered Hungerford’s intense football but played some excellent football going forward.

After Hungerford equalised in the second half Hitchin again stood firm as they came under pressure and then got back on top and can consider themselves unfortunate not to have won the game as they finished well on top. But a point is a good return from one of the most difficult away games of the season.

Team news saw Will Wright serving his one game suspension while Stuart Pearson was still away. Dave Corran was ill and Josh Bickerstaff was only fit enough for the bench where he was joined by available again Sam Barker. Ben Walster came in as one of the three centre backs for his first start this season and performed well in the now familiar back five.

Hitchin made a great start scoring after 2 minutes 45 seconds. A Callum Donnelly corner was not cleared and he eventually played the ball back in and Jonny McNamara shot home from 20 yards with the ball taking a deflection. McNamara was in on goal again after a good Donnelly pass but rushed his shot. Robbie Burns forced a save after another good move as Hitchin continued to look dangerous. Matt Lench hit a couple of shots over the bar while McNamara and Burns were showing really good movement to stretch the Hungerford defence. And after 38 minutes Burns shot just wide from McNamara’s cross.

HALF TIME: Hungerford Town 0 Hitchin Town 1

The second half started with Lench and Burns coming close but Hungerford equalised after 53 minutes when a good run down the left led to James Clark slotting home. Hungerford then had a good spell but Hitchin defended well before slowly reasserting themselves. Charlie Horlock made a good save from Nat Jarvis but was generally untroubled. Barker replaced the injured Donnelly but Hitchin continued to look for a winning goal not settling for a draw.

Lench had a back header go just over the bar after 81 minutes and Hitchin finished the game on the front foot. They could not force the winning goal but again proved they can compete with the best teams and a challenge for the play offs is a realistic target. There are players to come back and the squad strength is now much better than previous seasons so Hitchin can look forward to the challenges ahead.

FULL TIME: Hungerford Town 1 Hitchin Town 1

Teams:

Hitchin - Horlock, Smith, Walster, Ann, Webb, Rolfe, McNamara, Donnelly, Kirkpatrick, Burns, Lench

Subs - Martin, Boyd, Bickerstaff, Barker (for Donnelly 76).

Hungerford - Strudley, Horgan,John,Rusby, Day, Jones, Tyler, Collins, Jarvis, Draycott, Clark

Subs - Goodger (for Clark 81), Stow (for John 9), Rees (for Jones 67), Brown

Bookings:

Hitchin - Rolfe

Hungerford - Horgan

Attendance: 127

Roy Izzard



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