Hitchin Town 1 Barnet 3


Friendly 2024-25

Top Field68 Fishponds Rd, Hitchin SG5 1NU, UK

Hitchin Town
1 - 3
Final Score


It has been a long time since I saw Barnet play and I always recall some rather feisty fixtures when they played former rivals Enfield, notably a 6-3 win against the E’s at Southbury Road.I did visit Underhill but not the Hive which I believe is in Harrow. Barnet, the town is now again in Middlesex having once been in Hertfordshire.

For Hitchin supporters it was of great interest that our former players Callum Stead and Finley Wilkinson were included in the Barnet squad. Of interest to me was that the Barnet manager Dean Brennan was once a player at my former club, Dunstable Town. Another ex-Dunstable man present was Dean Hutchins, now amidst the Barnet management team, and I spoke to him briefly after the game.

It was a little irritating that the numbers on the Barnet shirts did not correspond to those on the team sheet, but that is not an isolated incident. Our vice chairman did provide me with the right configuration midway through the second half, which was helpful.

Players entered the playing arena foregoing the usual line -up handshakes. Spots of rain were falling and away we went, facing a team that plies its trade two divisions above, and indeed were a Football League team for a considerable period.

The Bees began by being dominant in possession, but the first cross, from the left was over hit. Another chance came with a free kick, also from the left. This went for a corner which was headed harmlessly over the crossbar.

There was again some good stuff from George Morrall whose ability belies his small frame. Hitchin began to get more of the ball without penetrating and then, after a quarter of an hour, Barnet ought to have taken the lead, but fired across the unguarded Hitchin goal.
By now there was some concerted pressure on the Canaries and James Callan did well to palm away a deflected shot that looked bound for the top corner.

Hitchin’s Triallist B was substituted by Stephen Gleeson after twenty-one minutes. For all their possession, Barnet were yet to penetrate or even have a shot on target. Callan’s long goal kicks provided Hitchin with possibilities of forward play which was rigorously denied them with an almost indignant regaining of possession.

A fine shot saw Callan make another remarkable save and Barnet were further denied after the low corner kick to the near post. The half hour mark saw Hitchin attempt to combine passes for an attack but it was neatly thwarted . Half a dozen or more Barnet substitutes came out to the pitch perimeter to warm up, presumably for the second half. Callum Stead was among their number.

Then there was an almost comical moment when Callan appeared to hold a free kick from Anthony Hartigan but then he spilled the ball into his own net. So, a soft goal for the Bees after thirty- five minutes. The announcer sad it was number six, but the Barnet shirts ranged from thirteen to forty-seven.

Then, almost inevitably, Finley Wilkinson scored number two after thirty-eight minutes. We were pleased that Finley has been taken up at a club playing at a senior level and we wish him well.
A screamer of a free kick from one of Hitchin’s triallists needed a fine save from Jordan Gilmore and it was the closest Hitchin had been to scoring this half, but effort was definitely not lacking.

A third goal for the visitors after forty-three minutes and was apparently scored by a Triallist. I was later corrected, and the scorer was Rhys Brown. A Barnet player received a caution for an over zealous trial and following the free kick Hitchin got a goal back, scored neatly by Lewis Franklin. So, 1-3 and a slightly more respectable score line. The interval came soon after.

The Barnet team for the second half was, I believe, a close approximation of their first team. Hitchin made a couple of substitutions with Josh Mollison and Albie Hall. The football was a bit slicker, with Hitchin needing to defend carefully, which they did.

A home free kick provided a slim chance but it favoured the Barnet keeper. A good Barnet chance brought a corner which saw a header just over the crossbar. It was good to see this developing Hitchin team coping well with senior opposition and they gamely fought for some larger share of possession, but the problem in the final third was still apparent.

Albie Hall was fouled and there was a Hitchin substitution before it was taken with Jay Rolfe replaced by Toby Syme. Fernando Bell- Toxtle. The free kick favoured the opposition keeper. There was a grand spell of a couple of minutes thst saw some concerted pressure from Hitchin that was coped with adequately, but the home players’ attitude is to be commended.

A Barnet free kick was delayed for some refereeing intervention and when applied, the attack was beaten away. No further goals this second half did not diminish the entertainment. Then Stephen Gleeson gave way to Dempsey Thomas for the remaining ten minutes.

Overall, it was a fairly stout performance, with a goal almost scored following a corner, and this following some promising forward play. Yes, we drew the second half, so to speak and I overheard some home supporters declaring that tonight’s Hitchin performance was promising and the game itself was an entertaining one.

James Callan, Jay Rolfe, George Morrall, Lewis Barker, captain, Dan Sears, Ciaren Jones, Lewis Franklin, GOAL 1-3, 45 minutes, Jack Dreyer, Connor Vincent, Triallist A, Triallist B.
Toby Syme, Josh Mollison, Triallist C, Fernando Bell-Toxtle, Shane Bush, Dempsey Thomas, Triallist D, Stephen Gleeson, Albie Hall, George Devine.

Jordan Gillmore, Ade Oluwo, Joe Grimwood, Myles Kenlock, Nik Tavares, Anthony Hartigan, GOAL, 0-1, 34 minutes, Billy Clifford, Triallist A, Finley Wilkinson, GOAL, 0-2, 38 minutes, Patrick Matejko, Rhys Brown, GOAL, 0-3, 43 minutes.

Nick Hayes, Joe Kizzi, Joe Rye, Jerome Okimo, Jordan Cropper, Mark Shelton, Jack Blower, Ben Coker, Callum Stead, Zak Brunt, Nicke Kabamba.

REFEREE: Mr C Poole, assisted by Mr T Cartwright and Mr M Mellor.

Report by Pipeman


Competition Season Attendance
Friendly 2024-25 411