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The Southern Football League

Arlesey Town 1 Hitchin Town 2

Tuesday, August 8 2017

Hitchin brought the curtain down on their pre-season programme with victory at local rivals Arlesey. A number of key players were missing but Hitchin still used 20 players over the course of the 90 minutes. With both sides trying to play passing football it was an entertaining game for the 120 supporters  present, the majority of whom were Hitchin fans.

Kieran McCaffrey came close after just 4 minutes while Trey Charles was lively in the early stages forcing a good save from a snap shot, then producing a good run and cross that Brett Donnelly just failed to get on the end of. Danny Clifton then shot over the bar as Hitchin were on top in the opening period. Josh Coley replaced Brett after half an hour but after 43 minutes a rash tackle led to a clear penalty for Arlesey. However Martin Bennett produced an excellent save from Tony Williams to keep the score 0-0 at half time.

At various times in the second half Hitchin used their 10 substitutes with only Ben Walster and McCaffrey playing the whole 90 minutes. After 48 minutes a very good move ended with Callum Donnelly forcing the keeper to a good save while Elliot Bailey came close soon after. It was Bailey who created the first goal with an excellent run and cross that Coley converted at the far post.

Bailey has had a productive pre-season as far as goal scoring is concerned and he scored another with another fine strike after 70 minutes. Arlesey deserved some reward and Dom Morgillo scored just one minute later as the Hitchin defence went missing. Bailey then hit the post after another good move and the victory was well deserved. 

Trialists James Goode, Chris Evans and Toby Symes played their first games while Brodie Couzens stepped up from the Academy side. Now the waiting is over and league football returns at Merthyr on Saturday with Mark Burke having a difficult team selection to make with so many options available but also some injury problems to contend with.

Team - Bennett, Simpson, Walster, McCaffrey, Goode, Couzens, Clifton, C Donnelly, B Donnelly, Charles, Barnes; Subs (all used) - Symes, Johnson, Smith, Dowie, Cotter, Kirkpatrick, Green, Bailey, Coley, Evans

Scorers 

Hitchin Town - Coley 67, Bailey 70

Arlesey Town - Morgillo 71

Attendance - 120

Roy Izzard, photo by Peter Else




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