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Hitchin Town 3 Hayes and Yeading United 0

Monday, November 28 2016

The Canaries secured their second 3 goal win in succession with a clear-cut victory over Hayes and Yeading.†

This was a much changed opposition from that which Hitchin defeated barely one month ago in the FA Trophy. Only two of the starting eleven from that match started this fixture - a sign of the wholesale changes wrought by Unitedís new management team. For Hitchin, Liam Gooch and Callum Donnelly returned from the start with Michael Johnson and Brett Donnelly on the bench.

Hitchin began positively in front of a good crowd of 285 who were undeterred by the freezing conditions. Ben Walster tried his luck from an early free kick while Callum Donnelly did test Danny Boness and Robbie Burns headed wide. For the visitors, Michael Weiss and Mahlondo Martin looked dangerous on the flanks but it was the United keeper who was by far the busier as he punched a corner away under pressure from Josh Bickerstaff and had to save at the feet of Liam Brooks.

On 18 minutes though, Brooks was on the scoresheet. A well worked freekick from Lewis Rolfe in the centre of the park found Callum Donnelly wide on the right. He crossed low into the box to Burns. It looked like the number 10 was clipped from behind but the referee waved ďplay onĒ and before Burns could recover, Brooks had tucked away a low shot to give Hitchin the lead.

Hitchin continued to pressure the visitors who, despite or because of all the changes, did not look a coherent side. Dan Webb had a volley blocked by the United defence following a freekick while Boness again had to dive at the feet of the lively Brooks. Kane Smith ran into the area to latch onto a good through ball but a great defensive tackle by Connor Toomey averted the danger.

The visitors had a more threatening spell just before the break as Weiss cut the ball back from the left. There was no-one in front of goal to apply a finishing touch and Martinís shot from beyond the far post was gathered by Gooch. Martin also got in a cross to Terence Carter which was scrambled away.

Half time approached with a surreal moment when an animal deposit was found in the middle of the visitorsí half of the pitch. Stadium Manager Len Leroux swiftly ensured the playing surface was restored to itís normal quality although it was baffling how the problem had remained undetected for some forty minutes! ††

Hitchin went in deserving their lead but a solitary goal lead meant there was no cause for overconfidence.

HALF TIME Hitchin Town 1 Hayes & Yeading United 0

United made a change at half time with Adam Everitt coming on for Priestly Farquarson and the substitute had an early effort from distance which cleared Goochís crossbar.

However the Canaries continued to take the game to Hayes and Yeading. Brooks headed just wide from a Bickerstaff cross, while Will Wright fired over following an intricate build-up. Brooks was full of running and forced Adebowale to clear as he tried to beat him on the break.†

Unitedís attacks were sporadic and, while Carter and Martin both posted efforts that went wide, they were punished by an opportunist goal on 67 minutes. Adebowale, under pressure from Burns, attempted a clearance which struck a fellow defender. Burns was quickest to take advantage of the situation, took the ball clear with one touch and fired past the unprotected Boness to notch his tenth league goal of the season.

Celebrating the second goal!

The match was wrapped up seven minutes later when Bickerstaff, who has grown into his midfield role, powered home a textbook header from a corner to make it 3-0.

Hitchin had won the right to play some nice football and might have added to the scoreline as they overran the United defence. Successive efforts from Burns and Kirkpatrick were blocked before Brooks then fired an angled shot wide.

Hayes and Yeading went in search of a late consolation goal but the Hitchin defence remained alert as Rolfe and Gooch between them cleared the ball away from Weiss, with Gooch denying Carter at close range from the follow-up corner.

FINAL SCORE Hitchin Town 3 Hayes & Yeading United 0

This hard-working performance moved Hitchin to fourth in the league table and two back-to-back wins provide a boost ahead of Saturdayís journey to top-of-the-table Leamington.

Hitchin Town - Gooch, Wright, Walster, Bickerstaff, Webb, Rolfe, Smith, Callum Donnelly, Brooks, Burns, Kirkpatrick; subs - Brett Donnelly, Johnson, Barker (for Walster), Spence, Clarke
Hayes & Yeading United - Boness, Evans, Chamberlain, Farquarson, Adebowale, Toomey, Durouaiye, Hope, Weiss, Carter, Martin; subs - Mugoya (for Durouaiye), Benton, Everitt (for Farquarson), Debayo, Sinclair

Hitchin Town - Brooks (18), Burns (67), Bickerstaff (74)

Yellow cards
Hitchin Town - Walster
Hayes & Yeading United - Carter, Mugoya

Attendance - 285

Hitchin Town MOTM - Liam Brooks

Colin, photo by Peter Else

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