- Saturday 11 January – Home to Needham Market – League – Kick-off 3pm.
- Monday 13 January – Home to Leiston – League – Kick-off 7:45pm.
- Ben Walster is suspended for the Needham Market game.
- Jack Green has completed his suspension and returns to the squad for the Needham Market game.
- Jhai Dillon has recovered from illness and returns to the squad for the Needham Market game.
- Steve Cawley returns to the squad for the Needham Market game having been ineligible on Tuesday
- Diogo Freitas Gouveia left the pitch through illness on Tuesday but has recovered and will be in the squad for the Needham Market game.
- Joe Gauge has been transferred to Biggleswade to get more first team experience. He can be recalled if needed under a gentleman’s agreement.
- Kai Phelan has been transferred to Barton Rovers to get more first team experience. As with Joe he can be recalled if needed under a gentleman’s agreement.
- James Verney has scored in the last two Cockfosters games.
- Josh Mollison has returned from Barton and has been playing for Biggleswade United.
- Marcus Crowther has been playing for Cockfosters.
In the cases of Joe, Kai, James, Josh and Marcus they remain part of our future plans. Their performances are monitored and it is essential they get more game time to aid their development. In time it is hoped they will become first team starters at Hitchin. The tactic of letting younger players go out on loan has proved beneficial over Mark’s managerial reign.
- Rio Da Silva has signed Southern League forms for Hitchin. 20 year old Rio scored a hat-trick in the recent game at Letchworth Garden City Eagles.
NORTH HERTS RADIO COMMENTARY
North Herts Radio will be back at Top Field on Saturday 11 January 2020, to bring you live commentary of Hitchin Town’s league match against Needham Market.
Freddie Cardy and Marac Alionic will be your hosts with the programme starting at 2:45pm.
We are on the ‘North Herts Radio Extra’ channel on the North Herts Radio website.
If you are using a mobile device the latest North Herts FM Android App is available to download from the Play Store which will give access to the ‘North Herts Radio Extra’ channel.
North Herts Radio is also available as an Apple App and on Alexa.
HITCHIN TOWN UNDER 19’S
The academy team beat Norwich RDP 4-1 on Wednesday with two goals each from Theo Reed and Jordan Webber. Next Wednesday they are at home to Brentwood. They are now third in their league.
HITCHIN TOWN LADIES FC WITH CALLUM ELLIS
St Albans 3 – 1 Hitchin Town Ladies FC Firsts
Sunday 12th January 2020: Chris Renshaw Trophy 1st Round
Watton Ladies v Hitchin Town Ladies Reserves
13:30 at Community Centre, Watton at Stone.
EJA TEAM NEWS WITH NICK CARR
Three of our four EJA teams returned to action this week following the Christmas break and all three contested Hertfordshire FA County Cup ties.
Our U14s missed out on a place in the quarter final of the U14 cup when they went down 5-0 to Cheshunt FC, who must be regarded as one of the favourites to lift the trophy.
Our U15s booked their place in the quarter final of the U15 Challenge Cup by winning their tie against Ware FC Academy with a 3-1 scoreline, goals coming from Cathal Fee and a pair from Lavel Davis-Thomas.
Our U18s won their U18 Challenge Cup tie 5-0 away at Cuffley Youth U18 Blacks. Goals from Ant Nygro, Gab Kwarteng, James Thompson and a pair from Ben Chapman were enough to take them through to the 4th round where they will join our U17s.
This weekend sees only three of our teams in action again, and all are away from home.
The U18s are away to Braintree Town in the first round of the EJA Ingilby Cup, 10:30am kickoff at Braintree Town FC.
The U15s are away to Kempston Rovers Colts, 2:30pm kickoff at Kempston Rovers FC in the EJA Brown Division.
The U14s are away to unbeaten Needham Market in the U14 EJA Yellow (Cambs) Division.
On Wednesday 15th January our U15s take on Grays Athletic FC in the semi-final of the EJA Midweek Floodlight Cup. Kickoff is 7:30pm at the splendid Aveley Parkside Arena which is home to Aveley FC, and which was chosen to host a number of games in the 2018 CONIFA World Cup. The pitch is state of the art 4G and the ground boasts a magnificent grandstand by non-league standards, so this should be a great experience for the boys.
CANARIES TEAM OF THE DECADE WITH THE SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM
For those who didn’t see it, just for fun, we recently ran individual polls on Twitter to allow supporters to select their Hitchin Town FC 2010s Team of the Decade.
Here were the shortlisted players which users could vote from:
- Martin Bennett, Michael Johnson, Charlie Horlock, Tahj Bell.
- Kane Smith, Kavan Cotter, Tony Fontenelle, Elliott Legg.
- Dan Webb, Alasan Ann, Dean Gilbert, Stuart Pearson.
- Mark Smith, Lewis Rolfe, Lawrie Stewart, Will Wright.
- Ben Walster, Josh Bickerstaff, Tom Pepper, Noah Chesmain.
- Richard Howell, Jonny McNamara, Iewan Lewis, Trey Charles.
- Isaac Galliford, Lucas Kirkpatrick, Louis Lee, Sam Barker.
- Callum Donnelly, Jay Dowie, Carl Williams, Luke Donnelly.
- Zak Burke, Matt Lench, Jhai Dhillon, Jack Green.
- John Frendo, Robbie Burns, Simon Martin, Jeff Hammond.
- Brett Donnelly, Jamie Arlick, Harry Hunt, Elliot Bailey.
And here was the winning XI. We had nearly 3,000 votes across the polls, so many thanks to all who got involved.
JHAI DHILLON INTERVIEW
I have just interviewed Jhai Dhillon and will be posting an article on the website in the near future. I think you will find Jhai has an interesting story to tell on and off the pitch.
MANAGER’S NOTES WITH MARK BURKE
In typical Hitchin fashion we responded to the two poor results over Christmas with an excellent performance and victory away at Stourbridge. This was our first ever win at Stourbridge who are never easy to beat and before Saturday had only lost two home games.
Our game plan was to keep the home crowd quiet which we did early on in the game and we then went on to score two good goals. We then had two other good chances and could easily have been 4-0 up at half time. It should be said that Charlie Horlock made a couple of fine saves early on which gave us the platform to build on.
Stourbridge came out strongly at the start of the second half and scored early on. This buoyed their confidence and this made us more nervous. Obviously on the back of four straight defeats our confidence was very fragile and this meant we were not as composed on the ball as in the first half. So I must give credit to all the players for working tirelessly and putting their bodies on the line. Pleasingly despite the pressure we continued to look dangerous on the break and could have scored further goals.
Our game at Leverstock Green was as much a mental test as it was a physical one as the condition of the pitch made it virtually impossible to play the football we like to play. The players had to be disciplined in their approach and to be resilient and play to the conditions.
Therefore for me a 2-0 victory was a great result which saw us through to the quarter final of the Herts Senior Cup. I have been at Hitchin for many years and have either played in or watched us lose matches in similar circumstances. Indeed in our only previous visit to Leverstock Green in 2009 we were beaten 2-1 in the Herts Senior Cup despite a strong line up.
We have never beaten Needham Market either at home or away and they are always difficult opponents. However having achieved our first ever victories at Stourbridge and Leverstock Green we are going for the hat trick against Needham Market.
Needham Market are a good footballing side and I am looking forward to what I think will be a very entertaining game.
Since Glenn Driver returned to manage Leiston after starting the season managing Braintree in the National League South they have made a dramatic improvement. He has signed a number of experienced players and they are making a determined bid to get away from the relegation zone. While they are seventeenth in the league table they are seventh in the last six game table. It could be considered a six pointer as we are so close to each other in the table and we need to maximise home advantage.
BY ROY IZZARD