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Dorchester Town 2 Hitchin Town 2

Saturday, April 1 2017

Dorchester were not able to do the double over Hitchin but the Canaries will be glad to see the back of the Magpies for this season, having taken only one point from them in two games. A much improved second half performance by the hosts saw them claw back a two goal deficit to secure a draw at the Greene King Community Stadium.

Kane Smith, Jay Dowie and Robbie Burns had all shaken off the injuries that kept them out of Tuesday's Hertfordshire Charity Cup defeat while Lucas Kirkpatrick, Conor Clarke and Mason Spence started on the bench.

Hitchin got off to the ideal start on 12 minutes after a Jonny McNamara cross reached Matt Lench at the far post. He placed his header back over Shane Murphy in the home goal.

The Canaries suffered an early blow as skipper Brett Donnelly went off injured but his replacement Liam Brooks nearly poked the ball home from the resulting free kick, and shortly afterwards fired over from a Burns pass. 

On 35 minutes the Canaries extended their lead as good play by Burns and McNamara allowed Smith to send in a cross that Callum Donnelly met at the far post. His effort could only be turned into his own goal by Toby Down.

Half Time - Dorchester Town 0 Hitchin Town 2

Dorchester came out after the break in a far more assertive mood and while this saw a procession of yellow cards, it also saw them get back into the game on 54 minutes with another own goal. Good work by Blair saw the match winner from Top Field beat Will Wright and get in a cross that ricocheted off the unlucky Ben Walster to hand the Magpies a lifeline. 

Ormrod had a half chance for Dorchester before the opportunity was snuffed out, while the hosts also went close from a corner.

Smith, Lench and Brooks all ran at the hosts' defence but the Canaries struggled to test Murphy, Burns firing across goal after Lench had knocked down a free kick for him.

The hosts were enlivened by their substitutions as Mawford and Jerrard both threatened up front. The two of them combined down the right on 81 minutes for a ball which finally came to Martin just outside the box and he rifled the equaliser past Johnson.

Hitchin could not find a winning goal although a Lench header brought a regulation save from Murphy following a Kirkpatrick free kick, and the keeper also easily gathered a high Walster free kick.

Full Time - Dorchester Town 2 Hitchin Town 2

The Canaries now have a friendly against Codicote at Top Field on Monday night, raising funds for the Sands charity, to give game time to the whole squad as they look to get back to winning ways to ensure their play off place and ideally home advantage.

Dorchester Town - Murphy, Egan, Martin, Bowles, Walker, Down, Griggs, Vance, Ormrod, Blair, Williams; subs - Jerrard (for Bowles), Mawford (for Williams), Mitchell, Davis (for Blair), Ayunga
Hitchin Town - Johnson, Smith, Walster, Dowie, Rolfe, Wright, McNamara, Callum Donnelly, Brett Donnelly, Burns, Lench; subs - Kirkpatrick (for C Donnelly), Brooks (for B Donnelly), Spence (for McNamara), Clarke, Coley

Dorchester Town - OG (Walster) 54, Martin 81
Hitchin Town - Lench 12, OG (Down) 35

Yellow cards
Dorchester Town - Vance, Bowles, Martin, Blair
Hitchin Town - Callum Donnelly

Attendance - 407


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