Hitchin Town 0 Luton Town 3


Friendly 2022-23

Top Field68 Fishponds Rd, Hitchin SG5 1NU, UK

Hitchin Town
Luton Town
0 - 3
Final Score


This first pre-season game Hitchin played hosts to Football League neighbours, Luton Town, who not so long ago were facing an uncertain future and at the conclusion of last season were a whisker away from becoming Premier League club, and although delayed, the new stadium is now a distinct reality. We were indeed grateful for their supporters who boosted the attendance to 2213, which gave Top Field a special atmosphere.

The pristine pitch had been lovingly prepared as always and we were pleased that the bulk of the squad from the last campaign had been retained and those who played relished the opportunity of pitting their skills against the slick professionals from Bedfordshire’s solitary League Club. The score was indeed quite respectable and a real highlight was a second half penalty save from Teirnan Parker, who had come on for seasoned campaigner Charlie Horlock. This was not his only save during his spell on the pitch and he will be pleased that he impressed.

The seven pm kick-off gave us the novelty of finishing an evening match in daylight and mention must be made of the excellent stewarding and the exemplary behaviour of all except those young rascals who could not resist an incursion onto the hallowed turf at the end of the match, with Sergeant Major Kate Deller trying to usher them back to the terraces. In a way it was a kind of celebration of this propitious occasion.

Hitchin fielded a more or less first choice eleven, including Player of The Year, Ciaren Jones, who is now with Wealdstone but dual registered. Luton played a mixed eleven for the first half, bringing on a presumably stronger selection for the second half. I gather that their squad leaves for a pre-season tour very soon and we hope that they will make another serious attempt at promotion in the forthcoming campaign.

As for the match, it went largely as expected, with skill, talent and experience dictating matters. But it took our visitors almost half an hour to take the lead, after they had contained the expected exuberance from the hosts.

The team sheet bore no numbers for Luton and I relied on our announcer for the names of those who scored. Squad numbers were in operation and it was of little help to a reporter, but that is a minor gripe.

Optimistic early attacks from the Canaries saw Kye Tearle doing well on the right with Malaki Black lofting one effort high into the trees. After this initial burst the Hatters began to impose themselves and Charlie Horlock found himself busy but confident. His defence was equally busy, often within the six yard box and a crowded penalty area. He did well to hold a deflected shot that conspired to deceive. Josh Coldicott-Stevens, no stranger to pressure was forced to concede a corner, that was beaten away in a slightly rushed and inelegant manner, and at the other end Johnny Allotey had a chance and a move involving Rio Dasilva was ruled offside. Then a shot on the volley went wide and Dasilva’s fine shot all but grazed the cross bar and Hitchin thus came close to gaining a surprise lead.

Then Luton’s number 45, sorry no name to hand, won the ball expertly in the eighteen yard box and fired just wide, when it looked certain that he would score. Despite Horlock’s restrained heroics there was some action at the other end with Josh Popoola not afraid to take on defenders, but this Luton defence was not seriously troubled. Number 51 of Luton had a fine chance spoiled by a timely challenge and then Popoola had a shot that was put out for a corner. Gleeson sent this in nicely, and the Luton goalie punched clear but had been fouled in mid flight.

The Hatters took the lead with a fine goal from Dan Potts, finding the bottom corner with a measured strike. A free-kick from Hitchin struck the defensive wall, and this was not the only occurrence of this nature. Luton’s second goal came after a dominating period of play and the ball was untidily bundled home by Cameron Jerome with five minutes of the half remaining.

Early in the second half Hitchin had a free-kick in what is known as an inviting area but once more it struck the defensive wall. Luton proceeded to hit the post with one effort and, with the ball not being cleared well enough it provided Cauley Woodrow with a chance and he converted smartly to make it 3-0 after fifty-five minutes had been played. The visitors dominated, playing smart passing football and for Hitchin there were two creditable efforts from substitute Ben Stevens. Substitutes were announced regularly and Luton had a goal disallowed for offside.

Then came Parker’s notable penalty save, and he was alert enough to make further saves as the visitors threatened to add to their tally. They did not and it was a bit of a shame that the Canaries did not have the wherewithal to gain a compensatory goal. So it finished 3-0 to the Hatters who were comfortable throughout.

We look forward to the next game at Top field where Stevenage are the visitors and we hope for a good attendance.

Charlie Horlock, Jack Green, Malaki Black, Josh Coldicott-Stevens, Stan Georgiou, Ciaren Jones, Josh Popoola, Steve Gleeson, Kye Tearle, Rio Dasilva, Johnny Allotey.

Substitutes used – Ben Stevens, Teirnan Parker, Toby Syme, Lewis Barker, Jake Bunyon, Max Hercules, Finley Wilkinson.

Other substitutes- Reece Kelly, Jack Morrell, Alex Anderson, Ezra Forde, Joe Babbage, Josh Setchell, Callum Kane.

Harry Isted, Baba Fernandes, Gabe Osho, Dan Potts, GOAL, 28 MINUTES, Henry Lansbury, Elliott Thorpe, Jordan Clark, Carlos Mendez Gomes, Alfie Doughty, Cameron Jerome,GOAL,40 MINUTES, Admiral Muskie.

Matt Macey, Reece Burke, Tom Lockyer, Josh Williams, James Bree, Don Pereira, Casey Petit, Fred Onyedinma, Cauley Woodrow, GOAL, 55 MINUTES, Elijah Adebayo, Harry Cornick.

Referee- Mr Will Finnie, assisted by Mr Neil Davies and Mr Tom Danaher.

Attendance 2213



Competition Season
Friendly 2022-23