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Hitchin Town 1 Redditch United 2

Saturday, October 17 2015

Redditch brushed aside the Canaries, who appeared to be hung over from their FA Cup exit earlier in the week. Two goals from set pieces in the first 18 minutes gave the visitors a perfect start, and John Frendo's second half red card made matters worse for Hitchin.

 

Hitchin began against a Redditch side one point ahead of them in the table with Robbie Burns on the bench, McNamara playing closer to Frendo up front, and Walster coming into a back five.

 

Redditch came out positively, with Baker in particular looking to go past defenders on their right flank. An early opportunity was wasted by the captain Dubidat. Hitchin also had half chances in the early stages as Webb tried to get purchase on a header from a Donnelly freekick, and the central defender then got in a cross that Frendo headed wide.

 

The referee had also already imposed himself upon the game, booking Ann for a very innocuous challenge – Richards firing over from the subsequent free kick. The referee then stepped in to talk to visiting keeper Veiga and Frendo. However the officials could not be blamed for what happened next.

 

On 14 minutes, Redditch’s purposeful approach paid off. They won a corner and took it early while Hitchin’s defence were still finding their bearings. Richards shot again and the ball was deflected for a second corner. From this one, Dubidat made no mistake and fired home.

 

Hitchin had barely had time to recover when the visitors doubled their tally on 18 minutes from another set piece as Carline headed home decisively at the back post from an Osborne freekick.

 

Redditch might have added to their tally in the following minutes as Dubidat headed onto the roof of the net, and Horlock was forced to make a save from Osborne off a Molyneux pass.

 

Hitchin were at sixes and sevens as Redditch closed them down energetically. Balls pumped out of defence came straight back at them, Walster and Lench both picked up yellow cards for fouls, and Mark Burke cut a furious figure on the touchline.

 

Even when Hitchin did retain the ball, they were unable to carve out clear chances. From a Smith free kick, Frendo and Barker left the first ball to each other before Frendo managed a shot that was blocked.

 

McNamara tried to repeat his assist from Monday night as he robbed Carline, took on two Redditch players and won a corner. However from the set piece, Redditch broke at pace and the threat was only averted when Baker lost control of the ball approaching Horlock’s goal, although the winger reckoned he had been held back.

 

Hitchin themselves appealed for a handball as a low Lench cross struck a Redditch defender, but neither the referee nor his assistant spotted it.

 

The one-sided half ended with Redditch on the front foot as Baker beat Rolfe, and crossed for Molyneux. However the striker couldn’t decide whether to shoot or pass and the ball rolled to Horlock.

 

Half time - Hitchin Town 0 Redditch United 2

 

The second half began with Redditch again making the running as Dubidat outpaced Walster but Redditch's captain couldn’t make his shot count.

 

Hitchin did exert some pressure as another good run by McNamara set up Rolfe for a cross that evaded everyone. Frendo also bundled the ball into the visitors’ net after good build up by Kane Smith, but the whistle had already gone. Hitchin had one more shout for a penalty as a Smith cross appeared to hit a Redditch arm.

 

At the other end, though, the Canaries’ defence still looked uncomfortable as Molyneux and then Baker were wasteful with opportunities.

 

It wasn't until well into the second half that Veiga had a clear save to make in the Redditch goal. From a Barker free kick, McNamara connected at the back post and his looping header was tipped over by the keeper. Veiga then had to be alert, diving low as his own defender's clearance cannoned towards goal off McNamara.

 

At that point the home side’s plight was compounded as Frendo was sent off for abusive language after conceding a free kick.

 

Redditch continued to press as the pacy substitute Shearer had a shot saved by Horlock after running at the defence. They were not taking Hitchin any more lightly, as shown by Veiga’s exhortations to his teammates.

 

However the ten men of Hitchin may have felt they had a point to prove, as they had one of their best periods of play in the final minutes. They gained a consolation goal when Richards conceded a freekick and a card for a foul on McNamara on 87 minutes. The ball fell to Webb whose effort was bundled home by McNamara.

 

Hitchin now have a free week to rebuild ahead of the visit of Kettering.

 

Full time - Hitchin Town 1 Redditch United 2

 

Teams:

Hitchin - Horlock, Smith, Rolfe, Ann (Cap), Webb, Walster, McNamara, Donnelly, Frendo, Barker, Lench

Subs – Burns (for McNamara), Johnson, Kirkpatrick (for Barker), Pearson, Bickerstaff (for Walster)

 

Redditch - Veiga, Haines, Flanagan, Loveridge, Mutton, Richards, Baker, Osborne, Dubidat (Cap), Molyneux, Carline

Subs – Young (for Haines), Shearer (for Baker), Swan, Mutibvu, Bridgwater

 

Yellow Cards:

Hitchin – Ann, Walster, Lench, Donnelly

Redditch – Richards

Red Card:

Hitchin - Frendo

 

Hitchin Town MOTM: Kane Smith

Attendance: 211

Who scored that?!

 

Colin (photo by Peter Else)



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