Hitchin Town 2 Bromsgrove Sporting 0


Southern League 2022-23

Top Field68 Fishponds Rd, Hitchin SG5 1NU, UK

Hitchin Town
Bromsgrove Sporting
2 - 0
Final Score


A dismal run of three defeats brought unsurprising changes to the Hitchin team with starts for Bradley Bell and Layne Eadie as full backs/wing backs and Daniel Idiakhoa, the most enterprising player at Needham Market being moved to a more forward position. In the corresponding fixture the Canaries did relatively well, and had taken the lead despite the early dismissal of Lewis Barker, which was a factor in the eventual 2-1 defeat. Sporting were placed one below Hitchin but have a number of games in hand.

A virtual gale and heavy rain overnight had not adversely affected the pitch, lovingly prepared as usual by the ground staff. There was a minute’s silence to honour the memory of non -league player Cody Fisher, the victim of a fatal assault, which was fittingly observed.

Hitchin kicked off attacking the Fishponds Road end and a weak sun shone, the drizzle having given way. The first effort on goal came from a sprint along the left from Layne Eadie who shot wide. There was a Hitchin free kick wide on the left that saw efforts from both Bell and Barker but they were off target. Sporting’s first assault saw Horlock put the ball out of the ground with defensive emphasis.

The visitors won a free kick on the left flank taken by Micro Pais, which was haughtily defended, then, on the right Freitas-Gouveia’s set piece saw Ashley Hay have an on target header, easily saved by Ollie Taylor. Dan Idiakhoa as beginning to look lively and we felt there was a good feel about the team.

However, Miro Pais turned and sent in a shot that only just cleared the bar.

Play was enterprising if inconclusive so far and what a tonic a goal would be, but direct efforts were very few from both sides in this initial half hour. There was a good deal of midfield sparring that failed to create a really incisive move on goal. Idiakhoa won a free kick on the edge of the area that needed a good cross from Freitas- Gouveia and the effort was punched away by Taylor.

Then Freitas- Gouveia got lucky with a defensive deflection and he strode forward and converted well into the bottom right corner after thirty- three minutes.Following this typically fine finish from Freitas -Gouveia, Eadie was fouled on the run and a free kick was awarded in a similar position. Thirty – eight minutes had gone and this set piece went into the defensive wall. Another free kick saw a Hay header and then a corner. Hitchin appeared to be finishing the half strongly. Eadie’s cross was taken off Hay’s head by Taylor and attempted counter moves from Bromsgrove were nullified. Freitas -Gouveia took a tumble on an incursion into the box and was correctly adjudged to have fallen over. A late free kick in the centre circle for Bromsgrove came to nothing. The interval became soon after.

Hitchin did deserve the lead, since they had more of the possession and had displayed a greater urgency in attack. By contrast Sporting seemed a little subdued. Idiakhoa’s telling pass to Hay ought to have brought a second goal but the effort went wide. Then a delightful cross from Syme saw a peach of a header from Ashley Hay that doubled the lead and offered some relief from our recent worries. We had reached fifty-one minutes.

Sporting needed an urgent response and this was not immediately forthcoming. Indeed a poor clearance from defence saw Freitas Gouveia send Hay clear and somehow the latter conspired to spoil the opportunity. Syme had a blocked shot from a free kick close to the corner flag. Coldicott- Stevens replaced Gleeson and still the hosts attacked and Sporting still gave away free kicks. One of these came from the right but too close to the keeper. One promising move from the visitors ended in an off side and clearly added to their frustration. Having said that so was the Next Hitchin attack with Freitas Gouveia heading the ball into the net for a bit of practice.

There was a good piece of work from Sporting substitute Jack Tolley’s cross saw the closest to a goal for his side, the ball clearing the bar from the creditable effort. Horlock was still to be seriously challenged. An up and under from Ciaren Jones saw Hay glance his header wide. Some late substitutes were employed by both sides. The lively Tolley was bundled off the ball and this meant a caution for Jones. In the next attack Sporting did manage to get the ball into the net, not noticing the offside flag and they did protest with some vigour at this decision. Had that stood the last few minutes bright have been a lot more demanding for Hitchin.

At last Sporting were giving it a go and Edmunds in a scoring position made a right mess of his effort. There was a Sporting free kick in an inviting position with five minutes remaining and taken by Edmunds who struck the defensive wall. Sweeney’s strike was a fair one, but it was offside as well as wide.

A clean sheet as well as three points was highly desirable and this needed to be worked for in the closing minutes as the visitors played their best football but without the consolation of a goal. Horlock did have to hold a late effort from a tight angle.Whilst not being the most exciting match of the season, it was a much improved performance from Hitchin over a side that could not inject any telling vigour into their game.

A brief break from league action sees Hitchin have a home draw on Monday in the Hertfordshire Senior Cup to Stevenage, who are playing Aston Villa in the FA cup tomorrow ( Sunday), so they may not be sending their strongest selection. The winners will meet Cheshunt or Hemel Hempstead Town.

Returning to today it was felt that this was more like the team that had put together that decent point winning run, and it is satisfying to know that we are in a much healthier position than we were at this stage last season.

Charlie Horlock, captain, Bradley Bell, Layne Eadie, Toby Syme, Ciaren Jones, cautioned, Lewis Barker, Diogo Freitas Gouveia, GOAL, 33 minutes, Stephen Gleeson, (Josh Coldicott-Stevens), Ashley Hay, GOAL, 51 minutes, Daniel Idiakhoa, sponsors’ man of the match, (Malaki Black), Jack Snelus. Substitutes not used- Rio Dasilva, Finley. Wilkinson, Stan Georgiou.

Ollie Taylor, Kieron Davies, Ayomide Lekuti, Joe Curtis,(Jack Tolley), Tom Taylor, (Jack Newell), Mike McGrath, cautioned, Ammar Dyer, cautioned, Muhammad Sebbeth Njie, Daniel Sweeney, Brandon Smalley, (Ryan Edmunds), Miro Pais. Substitutes not used- Dominic Perkins and Callum King-Harmes.

Referee- Mr Kyle, assisted by Mr J Dear and Mr D Cearney.



Competition Season
Southern League 2022-23