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St Neots Town 1 Hitchin Town 1

Tuesday, October 24 2017

This was a third successive game without defeat after the poor display at Farnborough and as St Neots had only lost one or their previous seven league games it can be considered a good result. However the second half saw Hitchin become the dominant force and they can consider themselves unlucky not to have picked up all three points.
Not only did Hitchin name the same starting eleven as Saturday but the five substitutes were also unchanged with Lucas Kirkpatrick unavailable and Lewis Rolfe suspended for the second of his three games. Unfortunately a strong blustery wind ruined the quality of the game as both teams found it difficult to master the tricky conditions. In the first half St Neots had the wind behind them and on more than one occasion keeper Mike Emery sent his clearances out for a goal kick to Hitchin. Manager Mark Burke said the first half was ruined by the wind making it an awful spectacle for the supporters. Brett Donnelly came close for Hitchin with his shot hitting the post after a corner in the 27th minute but at the other end Michael Johnson made an excellent save from Tom Meechan before tipping a header from Tom Wood over the bar.
The second half started badly for Hitchin as St Neots took the lead in the 50th minute. Dion Sembie-Ferris put a Scott Sinclair pass in to the path of Dylan Williams who took his chance well.  But from this point Hitchin got in to their stride and began to push St Neots back. Donnelly headed over the bar while a Jonny McNamara shot was well saved by Emery. Jack Green shot over the bar before Elliot Bailey did put the ball in the net only to be ruled offside.
It seemed a goal was coming and Donnelly duly obliged after 70 minutes after a very good move involving Kavan Cotter , McNamara and Jay Dowie. Hitchin continued to press for the winner but it would not come. While disappointed not to get the win Burke was pleased with the response to going behind and felt we dominated the remainder of the game. He was also delighted to see that there was a large Hitchin following at the game.
With a nearly full squad to choose from there will be some tricky selection dilemmas for the Hitchin manager in the coming weeks. The sticky start to the season has been replaced by much more convincing performances and with players returning to form the season still has plenty to offer.
St Neots  Emery, Bradshaw, Marsh-Brown, Knight, Wood, McDevitt, Sembie-Ferris, O’Malley, Meechan, Williams, Sinclair  Subs  Parr for O.Malley66, Wiltshire for Williams 73, Bridges for Meechan 85, Herd Butler
Hitchin  Johnson, Cotter, Walster, Dowie, Webb, Bickerstaff, Green, Smith, B Donnelly, Bailey, McNamara  Subs (not used) Vincent, Charles, Brooks, C Donnely, Syme
St Neots  Williams 50
Hitchin  B Donnelly 70
St Neots  Williams
Hitchin  None
Attendance 333
Roy Izzard

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