CROWDFUNDER UPDATE
The fund has now reached nearly £44,000 so our £50,000 target is in sight. Young Teddy Donnelly has now passed £1,100 in sponsorship for his 25 laps round Top Field on Sunday 27 September and I am sure this total will continue to grow. You can sponsor him at the following link.

BBC Look East unfortunately had to cancel their filming at Top Field this week due to a covid scare relating to their reporter. However they intend to be at our FA Cup game on Monday and to report live from Top Field for Look East and they will feature our Crowdfunder story. It must be cautioned that at the last minute their schedule can change but at the moment we are due to be featured which would give us excellent publicity.

As you will see at Top Field on Saturday we have continued our ground renovations with the money that has been donated. The old club office has now been removed together with another old portacabin and our new catering outlet the Canary Kitchen has been installed. We are certain the Canary Kitchen will prove popular with our supporters and we thank the Mobile Munchies Group for getting everything organised so quickly.

MATCHDAY PROTOCOLS
I must again remind everyone that tickets now have be purchased online in advance as there is no longer a facility to pay cash on the day. I would also remind all our season ticket holders that they will have to purchase a ticket for Monday’s FA Cup game. A season ticket is only valid for league game as we have to share the gate receipts with the opposition in cup games.

Please could you also respect our new covid protocols and observe social distancing. It is vital all non-league clubs follow the covid regulations as the government could easily withdraw the exemption we have to admit supporters if there is any flagrant breaching of the regulations.

STOURBRIDGE AND AFC RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS GAMES

STOURBRIDGE

We received this message from their secretary:

Matchday tickets will become available for sale from 10:00am on Sunday 20 September to all supporters – we are simply running a ‘first come. first served’ basis for tickets. With a restricted capacity of 600 and with our season ticket holders already guaranteed entry, we strongly recommend that tickets are purchased as early as possible. If tickets sell out before the day of the game, we will notify you via email and the various social media channels available to us, to ensure no-one makes a journey that ultimately means they cannot gain entry to the ground. There is also no refund policy on a purchased match ticket, if the game goes ahead and the ticket holder does not attend.

AFC RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS

The AFC Rushden & Diamonds game will be all ticket with capacity capped at 430. Tickets will not be available on the turnstile. Tickets are in sale now from this link – https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/afcrd

ACADEMY PROGRAMME UPDATE
We have now played a few competitive games this season. We have played two games in the Pro:Direct cup group stage where we beat PDA Buckingham 4-1 and PDA Watford 3-2, meaning now we only need a point in our final game to progress into the knockout stages.

Wednesday 16 September two of our teams started their league campaigns.

In the National Under 19 league we played Newport Pagnell Away where we ran out 2-0 winners, goals coming from Jordan Webber with one in each half. Special mention goes to midfielder Nikolay Rusev (who has been involved with the first team this pre season) for playing 75 minutes in goal after Daniel Weaver came off injured.

Team – Daniel Weaver (Harvey Stock 15m), Raymond John (Aaron Hector 60m), Luke Wright, Stan Georgiou, Callum Kane, Nikolay Rusev, Kye Tearle (Rajveer Samra 70m), Nathan Wing, Anthony Georgiou, Falvius Drescanu, Jordan Webber.

In the SCL education league we played at home to Whitstable where we came away 6-1 winners goals coming from Tyrese Oates, Carlos Acosta Clarke x2 and a hattrick from Matthew Morton.

Team – Cameron Groom, Scott Wilson, Tyrese Oates, Rocca Lewin Wren, Rocco Traetto, Joe Warne, Thomas Gentry, Cameron Francis, Matthew Morton, Billy Porter, Ryan Perkins.
Subs – Cameron Markland, Ansu Koroma, Finn Staples, Shorno Hussain, Carlos Acosta Clark, Ronaldo Caromba.

Our youth team travel to Newport Pagnell on Thursday 24 September in the first qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup kick-off 7.45pm.

MANAGER’S NOTES WITH MARK BURKE

BARNET

We finished off our pre-season programme with an excellent performance and result. I would like to thank Peter Beadle for bringing his whole squad to Top Field. I know Barnet have only just started their pre-season and are four weeks behind our schedule so they were obviously a little rusty but I know Peter and his assistant Steve Jenkins will make sure they are fully prepared for October.

Our general play was energetic bright and concise and we scored two quality goals that were carbon copies of each other. It has been the perfect pre-season and I want to make sure we carry the confidence we have gained so far into our first match. But I will certainly be reminding the players we must not be complacent and that we need to work really hard in every game as this is a very tough and competitive league.

There was a really good atmosphere created by our supporters against Barnet and it was great to welcome them back to Top Field.

ALVECHURCH

I cannot wait to start our league programme against Alvechurch. Ian Long has returned to manage Alvechurch where he enjoyed a lot of success in reaching the play-offs before leaving for Stourbridge. I know we will be in for a difficult game but Ian’s teams have always tried to play good football so it should be a very entertaining game.

NEEDHAM MARKET

Monday night sees us face a difficult FA Cup tie against Needham Market. Last season our two league games were very tight affairs with honours even. Like ourselves Needham Market have had continuity with their team from last season. I anticipate another hard fought and entertaining game and I am hoping we can attract a large attendance and your great support can provide a real boost for the team.

GROUND REPORT
There is no ground report from Steve Barker this week as he has been on holiday. But he is now home and will be working on the ground from early on Saturday morning with his team.

HTFC RADIO
From this season you will be able to hear commentary from as many Hitchin games as possible on HTFC Radio, the all-new, independent platform that has been created by Marac Alionic and Freddie Cardy.

To listen to HTFC Radio, you can either:
Download the Zeno Radio App and search for ‘HTFC Radio’.
Visit the Zeno website using this link.

Make sure to follow their social media platforms so you never miss a commentary.

Freddie and Marac have also started the Canary Club podcast, which is available on all podcast platforms: https://anchor.fm/canaryclubpodcast.

There will be commentary of both the Alvechurch and Needham Market games on Saturday and Monday.

BY ROY IZZARD