Hitchin Town 1 Barwell 1


Southern League 2022-23

Top Field68 Fishponds Rd, Hitchin SG5 1NU, UK

Hitchin Town
1 - 1
Final Score


Well, despite Hitchin’s battling performances lately, it must be mentioned that the team has gone five games since the last win, which was away at Mickleover, and they had to come from going a goal down.

We welcomed Barwell tonight and I was informed that in my last report I scored an own goal, by mistakenly placing Barwell in Suffolk rather than Leicestershire. Yes, I had Leiston on my mind , and I thank Jackie McDonald for pointing out the error, which of course was unintentional.

The corresponding fixture was the first game of the season and was memorable for Jack Morrell’s wonderful goal scored from range in a 2-1 win for the Hertfordshire Canaries. Tonight the Leicestershire Canaries played in a changed strip of all red.

With an early foray fizzling out, the hosts gave the impression of meaning business and we hoped for a more exciting encounter than the one against Nuneaton. Barwell’s first promising move ended with an off side flag, and Horlock, back in goal following his one match suspension sent the ball forward to find it coming back with a flank attack from Barwell, dealt with competently by the Hitchin defence.

A slightly over hit cross from Layne Eadie failed to find a target but it was good to see the sense of urgency and indeed I hoped we might actually take the lead in a game and not only hang on to it but improve on it. There was a moment for Hay but he could get no purchase on a header close in. Eadie sent in a fine cross that was read well by a defender and in this first quarter of an hour the ball was spending more time in the opposition half. Then Snelus has a fine shot that went just wide.

Then came a Hitchin free kick wide on the right that called for a good delivery from Josh Coldicott- Stevens and the best bit of action following it was a fair shot from Jack Morrell that was defended adequately. Barwell had a free kick that was entirely wasted.

Horlock gave some sense of relief when he did enough to foil a goalscoring opportunity that was presented to Barwell by a poor back pass. Then Barwell composed a decent attack with Bodnar’s cross held by Horlock. A great long pass by Josh Coldicott- Stevens looked the business but it was defended with sufficient vigour. Twenty- five minutes gone and no real shot on goal from either side. Barwell were clawing their way into the game now and Enoru’s half chance was snuffed out by the alert Horlock. Morrell had a free kick from the half way line that was not only cleared but saw a chance for Barwell until Eadie intervened. Then an abortive attack from Hitchin saw Barwell win a free kick in a dangerous area but there was no player able to connect.

A flash of skill from Idiakhoa did not meet with the same level from team mates and the chance went. Wilkinson was brought down on the turn and the free kick, taken by JCS saw Idiakhoa launch the ball over the bar. Enoru had a splendid run in possession and his shot was good enough, but only for a corner. This led to a Hitchin counter attack, a shot from JCS and a push in the back from a Barwell player that must have been the blind side of the referee.

There were just a few minutes to half time and Eadie conceded a corner, this was defended with Eadie sending Wilkinson away necessitating a clearance from Wycherley who sprinted off his line to perform the feat. Then in another attack, Wilkinson made the most of some Barwell uncertainty and blasted his shot past Wycherley and the Hertfordshire Canaries were ahead, the goal timed at forty-three minutes. It was deserved on the balance of play. There were two additional minutes which saw one more significant attack from Hitchin, but no addition to the score.

I noticed that Barwell were sent out early for the second half, indicative of a rousing or a hectoring from their manager. A knot of visiting supporters found voice as well. Indeed Barwell began confidently, getting into the Hitchin half but as yet not to good effect. But Barker was forced to concede a corner which Enoru picked up, sending in an excellent cross headed in by George Ward. The goal came after forty-eight minutes and they nearly had a second when a vitriolic strike ricocheted off the foot of the post. Game on indeed. Hitchin had a free kick from the left, bringing an unsuccessful appeal for a handball, and Enoru at the other end was again making a nuisance of himself.

The Leicestershire Canaries were indeed on the front foot. Josh Allen then came in for Jack Snelus. A chance for Taylor brought a Barwell corner, cleared by Barker but Hitchin badly needed some connectivity in their play, being definitely second best since the resumption. Enoru contested a long ball with Horlock with the latter being able to clear, but where were these holes in the

defence coming from? Enoru again made inroads but was outdone by his own artistry and a shortage of pitch, which was just as well. A Hitchin corner was greeted almost like a goal but the effort was cleaned up by Wycherley.

Hitchin frustration was felt with Idiakhoa entered into the black notebook.

These latter stages needed to be far more cohesive and possession not given away so easily.

A Hitchin free kick saw a cross and a header from Jones, saved easily. A foray on the left brought a corner and once more defended with ease. It was now a bit too scrappy compared with the good flow of the first half, but neither side seemed content with a point, but Barwell were going a little off the boil and Enoru will not be too pleased with his next shot that needed much greater accuracy.

For the last ten minutes Diogo Freitas- Gouveia replaced JCS, presumably in the hope that his fresh legs and pace might make the difference. Barwell had a free kick wide on the right which invited a decent cross which it received but Bell was there to clean up.

Freitas-Gouveia, attempted to gain possession but was bundled off the ball. Surely there would be one more real chance for the hosts- but not with hopeful long balls that we saw in evidence. Freitas-Gouveia had a blocked shot. There were just two minutes to go. With Hitchin having the better of the first half and Barwell the second it seemed a draw might be the fairest result, which for Hitchin meant half a dozen games since a win.

Horlock elected to take a very late free kick which was the last chance, and yes, it was soundly defended. Then came the whistle and left many of the home supporters a little disappointed, since the team could not sustain the advantage they had gained, but credit goes to Barwell for a gritty performance that prevented Hitchin obtaining the league double.

Charlie Horlock, captain, Bradley Bell, Layne Eadie, Ciaren Jones, Jack Morrell, Lewis Barker, Finley Wilkinson, sponsors’ man of the match, GOAL, 43 MINUTES, Josh Coldicott-Stevens, (Diogo Freitas-Gouveia), Ashley Hay, Daniel Idiakhoa, cautioned, Jack Snelus, (JoshAllen). Substitutes not used- Stephen Cawley, Rio Dasilva, Stan Georgiou.

Andrew Wycherley, Gergo Bodnar, Melis Bushaj, Sydney Kerr, Kyle Rowley, George Ward, GOAL, 49 MINUTES Beck-Ray Enoru, this reporter’s man of the match, Micah Edwards, Connor Taylor, (Jahvan Davidson-Miller), Brady Hickey, Captain, Joshua Tomlinson. Substitutes not used – Julian Donnery, Oisin Gallagher, Deen Master and Dominic Brown-Hill.

Referee – Mr T Hood assisted by Mr E Unuafe and Mr B Warren

Attendance 338



Competition Season
Southern League 2022-23