Cambridge City 1 Hitchin Town 1


Friendly 2022-23

Glassworld Stadium

Cambridge City
Hitchin Town
1 - 1
Final Score


The final friendly of the pre-season saw Hitchin field a fairly strong eleven, with notable absentees being Jack Green, Charlie Horlock and the recovering Josh Coldicott-Stevens. Bridge Road, Histon was the venue, since City’s new ground is not quite ready. Histon’s stadium is of course, a magnificent stadium by non-league standards, with its all round cover and seats on both sides, with an imposing main stand and clubhouse.

It was my first visit for a some time and I recall Histon’s impressive rise, and their well known banner ‘Not bad for a village team’. Cambridge City, playing in white shirts and black shirts faced a Hitchin still in the ‘one season magenta’ kit as the new one has yet to arrive. The kick-off was at 19.30 and the first ten minutes seemed to adopt a long ball tactic as a preferred option. It seemed to dissipate after Cambridge took the lead, with the assistant referee on the far side acting like a VAR official.

The home side had a free-kick wide on the left, taken by Ben Bradley, met with a defensive header from Stan Georgiou, back in the team at last, after an injury. Hitchin conceded a corner and there was a justifiable nervous twitch from me as Taylor Parr thundered in a shot that struck the underside of the bar and was hastily cleared but the aforementioned assistant waggled his flag to indicate that the ball had crossed the line and City were thus one up after ten minutes. Another goal conceded from a set piece but it was a close call. It also represented the first meaningful chance of the game.

Hitchin enacted positively and patiently with some good passing moves and they found themselves level six minutes later with the finest move of the game. It involved the eager Rio Dasilva whose pass to Kye Tearle, who had another outstanding match as a playmaker, and one who has growing perception to match his thorough commitment. He sent in a perfect cross from the right to the warhorse that is Lewis Barker whose bullet of a header found the net at some speed. The whole move was delightful and the finish was one to savour. Barker’s no nonsense play has been missed and I feel he will be a lasting influence on the team.

On resumption, Tearle was soon at it again, combining with Jonny Allotey, but a corner was the compensatory reward. Gleeson tried the ‘patent’ corner, picking out Cawley, but it was defended. Malaki Black, attacking on the left won another corner, which was also cleared. Both teams proceeded to waste a free-kick, and we then had a spell of inconclusive play as moves in possession were broken down by both defences. A cross from Jack Morrell was punched away by Joe Welch, and Allotey, following up had strayed well off-side. A corner for City was held by Parker and a through ball and some intuitive play from Cawley was well read by the home defence. A good Hitchin move, involving Morrell and Barker saw Allotey try a shot from a difficult angle that was off target.

Hitchin had further fluid moves in confident play. Georgiou had a forward move that was intercepted and in a half chance, Black was outsmarted by the City keeper. Allotey was tripped on a run but Gleeson’s free-kick was defended, and the team went to the interval on level terms.

Of course there had been much discussion and praise for the Euro triumph of the national women’s team and this threw up a couple of amusing stories for me. I received a text from my partner who suggested that if one encountered any sexist remarks about the women’s game, we ought to put men into the kitchen as that would be their only chance of getting their hands on a cup.

Rather more startling was my phone conversation with my son, who was actually oblivious as to the great win. He actually asked me who won and I told him he was the only person in the country who did not know of England’s first major trophy since 1966. Somewhat obscurely he told me that in 1966 at the time of the final, the Kinks were top of the pops with ‘Sunny Afternoon’. ‘You told me that years ago,’ were his words.

The second half was inevitably affected by a startling number of substitutions, which City ‘won’ 8-7. This may have been a common sense decision by both managers, and these exits and entrances did not lessen the competitive nature of the game. We hope that Patrick Tshikala was not upset at being the only Hitchin player not to grace the pitch, which was, of course, pristine.

Black’s low cross for Hitchin saw Morrell fire high and wide, as did Barker with a similar effort. Tearle’s put in an interesting free-kick that almost caught Joe Welch by surprise. Meakes found himself in an advantageous position and he was not off side for his one on one, but he shot straight at the keeper. Bradley Bell’s promising pass to Meakes was just a little too heavy and for City Maynard had a low effort that lacked volition.

City had a fair spell of pressure and Ryan Sharman was on target but it was a routine save for Parker. Kane’s run resulted in a shot from Tearle who saw his effort go wide. Dempsey Thomas showed skill with a pivotal piece of defensive work and Akinola was showing good pace on the left.The remainder of the half saw a little bit of scrappiness creep in but City produced some decent chances that were dealt with comfortably by the Hitchin defence. All the substitutes ‘fitted in’ well and it is good to see that they want to be seen as probables rather than possibles in terms of being in the starting eleven.

There were no more goals but the game was entertaining and it was a fair performance by Hitchin who open their League campaign in four days time with a trip to Leicestershire where they face Barwell.

We thank Cambridge City for hosting the match and we wish them well in their campaign.

Joe Welch, Taylor Parr, captain, GOAL,10 MINUTES, Lewis Mair, Ben Bradley, Yaw Ofosu, Bradley Gothard, Ben Nolan, Tommy Rigby, Ed Rolph, Ally Conway, Mike Davis.

Substitutes- all used in the second half – Connor Barnes, David Haynes, Alfie Wren, Ryan Sharman, Simon Swinton, Isaac Maynard, Alfie Lee, and another gentleman whose shirt bore no number and I apologise for not naming him.

Teirnan Parker, Kye Tearle, Malaki Black, Toby Syme, Stan Georgiou, Jack Morrell, Lewis Barker, captain, GOAL, 16 MINUTES, Steve Gleeson, Steve Cawley, Rio Dasilva, Jonny Allotey.

Substitutes – all used in the second half –

Sam Meakes, Leon Chambers, Callum Kane, Dempsey Thomas, Bradley Bell, Seni Akinola, Tommy Williams. Not used, Patrick Tshikala.

Referee, Mr Ian Pascu, assisted by Mr Sam Jones and Mr Marcus Latham.

Attendance N/A.



Competition Season
Friendly 2022-23