Hitchin fielded a strong team and comfortably beat Hayes and Yeading 2-0 in the Hendon tournament. Throughout Hitchin played their trademark passing football and could have been more than 1-0 up at half time. Connor Vincent and Trey Charles linked well after 8 minutes and from the resulting corner Liam Brooks shot wide.
Dan Webb had a header saved and Lewis Rolfe produced a good shot before Hitchin took the lead after 31 minutes. Vincent, who impressed playing at the top of a 4-2-3-1 formation, showed good body strength to turn and shoot home in the penalty area. The back four of Webb, Rolfe, Josh Bickerstaff and Ben Walster were very solid and Hitchin deserved the 1-0 half time lead.
In the second half Charlie Smith made his first appearance of the season and Elliot Bailey and Kieran McCaffrey also came on. An injury to goalkeeper Sam Donkin saw Rolfe take over in goal for the second half. After 57 minutes Elijah McDonald and James Budden came on with Josh Coley appearing soon after.
The second goal came on 63 minutes with McDonald producing an excellent header from a Jack Green cross. Rolfe made one fine save but Hitchin remained on top and Coley and Bailey both came close. The win was comprehensive but a very different Hitchin team will play Hendon in the final on Sunday as Mark Burke gives more trialists and youngsters a chance to avoid players having too much football in successive days.
Donkin, Rolfe, Walster, Dowie, Webb, Bickerstaff, Kirkpatrick, Green, Vincent, Brooks, Charles
Subs (all used) Bailey, Smith, McDonald, McCaffrey, Coley, Budden.
REPORT BY COLIN