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Hitchin Town 1 Weymouth 1

Saturday, October 8 2016

Honours were even at Top Field as the Canaries and the Terras fought out a draw.

Hitchin had to make changes in the absence of the suspended Callum Donnelly and Lewis Rolfe. Stuart Pearson slotted into a back three, with Alasan Ann sitting in front of the defence. 

Hitchin came closest to scoring in the first few minutes as Dan Webb hit the post with a header from a corner. Alasan Ann - who had a strong game breaking up Weymouth’s play and prompting the Canaries - also headed wide from Kane Smith’s chip. A Robbie Burns effort took a deflection which only just avoided the goal for a corner instead.

The Canaries’ defence had to be alert to Weymouth’s strike force that had bagged ten goals in the previous week and Will Wright and Matt Lench both made valuable blocks. Ben Walster was on hand to clear a Wannell free kick for a corner and then to clear the corner too.

While Hitchin just about had the balance of play during the first period, there had been few clear chances for either side before Hitchin finally broke the deadlock on 42 minutes.  Ben Walster received a cross field pass from Smith. Although his first shot rebounded off a defender, he made no mistake as his second attempt from an angle found the opposite corner of the net.

HALF TIME Hitchin Town 1 Weymouth 0

Although Ann tested Thomas from a trademark Hitchin short corner after the break - nearly catching the keeper by surprise - Weymouth upped the tempo and equalised on 54 minutes. A crossfield ball flew over the back three with the wingbacks upfield, and allowed Jordan Copp to attack down the right. He squared to give Stewart Yetton an easy opportunity in front of goal.

The game became more stretched and both sides had chances to clinch the points. Smith and Webb both nearly converted crosses from Walster, while Smith and Ann both fired over. 

Michael Johnson was called into action when Evans got round the back of the defence and the keeper saved well from the midfielder. 

Hitchin threw on James Verney for Burns and his running nearly paid dividends. Stuart Pearson and Webb both went close from Hitchin corners which had been won as a result of the tenacity of the youngster who left Cooper for dust after one run. Webb also tested Thomas with a header from another corner although the offside flag had already been raised.

At the other end, Weymouth nearly snatched a win when Michael Johnson was forced into a save from Weymouth substitute Sam Jordan but neither side could find the winning goal. 
Manager Mark Burke had to miss the match but he will want to take the positives from this game into the Hertfordshire derby against Kings Langley on Tuesday evening.

FINAL SCORE Hitchin Town 1 Weymouth 1

Teams
Hitchin - Johnson, K Smith, Walster, Wright, Webb, Pearson, Kirkpatrick, Ann, B Donnelly, Burns, Lench; subs - Barnes, Verney (for Burns), McBride, Coley, S Barker
Weymouth - Thomas, Wells, Wannell, Evans, Zubar, Brooks, Lowes, Davis, Yetton, Thomson, Copp; subs - D Smith, Matthews, Jordan (for Thomson), Cooper (for Wannell), Rodriguez (for Davis)

Goals
Hitchin Town - Walster (42)
Weymouth - Yetton (54)

Yellow Card
Weymouth - Yetton

Hitchin Town MOTM - Alasan Ann

Attendance - 384

Colin, match photo by Peter Else