Saturday 21 December: The league game at home to Leiston has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. The Betvictor Southern league showed great common sense in allowing clubs to make an early decision where there was no hope of playing. I really cannot remember many wetter spells than we are now experiencing and the following photos show just how wet Top Field is.
Friendly: We have arranged to play Baldock at the Arena with a 1.30pm kick-off instead and supporters are welcome. There will be no charge.
Boxing Day: away to Biggleswade Town League kick-off 1pm. With the weather as it is it will be worth checking our website / social medias to confirm if this game goes ahead.
Steve Cawley has returned to Hitchin for a further two months on loan from Hemel Hempstead Town.
Mark Burke commented on this news as follows:
“I know Steve is still not the complete striker that we have been yearning for but I have long been an admirer and I am confident that he will become that striker by adding the goals to his game that were missing from his first stint with us. His hold up play was excellent and he linked up very well with Marshy.”
Diogo Freitas-Govei has joined on a short term loan from Colchester United. He is an exciting young forward who has been playing regularly for Colchester’s under 23 side. He has been signed to help out during the busy Christmas period.
- Dan Webb, Jhai Dhillon and Lewis Rolfe should all be fit for the Biggleswade game.
- Jack Green starts his three game suspension with the Biggleswade game.
Mark Burke was quite happy with the postponement of the games at Stratford and Leverstock Green as we were struggling with a number of injuries and would have had to field weakened teams. Instead the injured players have had time to recover while the two training sessions were very useful.
I received an email from John Green this week telling me his father Chris Green sadly passed away last Tuesday. It was such a wonderful email that I have received John’s permission to share it with you and it will be posted separately on our social media channels and website as a tribute to his father.
I was really sad to learn of the death of Mishi Morath. Mishi was a non-league legend who passionately followed his beloved Dulwich Hamlet. I first got to know Mishi through the supporters tournaments that Barry Swain used to organise at Top Field. Mishi would always come down with the Dulwich team and often played. He was always a larger than life character and great fun to be with. He has slept at Canary Club during the tournaments and used to enjoy a drink before he became teetotal. It used to be hard to believe he was a librarian!
He really cared about non-league football and we benefitted from this when he made a passionate speech at a Save Top Field meeting. This is how Neil Jensen reported the meeting for Game of the People:
”There was no doubt who the star of the show was on the night that Southern League Premier Division club Hitchin Town held a public meeting over the future of its ancient home of Top Field: Mr Mishi Morath of Dulwich Hamlet FC.
Morath, whose name almost belongs to J.R.R. Tolkein’s middle earth, gave an emotional and passionate speech about the value of clubs and grounds like Hitchin Town. “To football fans, these grounds are like churches and palaces,” he said. “And when they are gone, they’re gone.” Hitchin Town could do with some of this fellow’s passion if they are to win their battle against the ground being redeveloped and the club shifted down the road towards nearby Stevenage. The Canaries’ fans are notoriously slow in making themselves heard, despite their renowned loyalty.”
Mishi would have been delighted that we won the day and his contribution will never be forgotten. Looking at the Dulwich website there are hundreds of tributes to Mishi which shows just how well respected he was. He epitomised all that is good about non-league football and I found him an inspirational figure as my passion for Hitchin matched his for Dulwich. All of us at Hitchin send our condolences to Mishi’s family and friends and I am so pleased to have known him.
HITCHIN TOWN UNDER 19’S
The academy team beat Maidstone United 3-1 on Wednesday. They next play in January 2020.
HITCHIN TOWN LADIES
The Ladies next games will be in January 2020 and their players and officials wish everyone a happy Christmas.
EJA NEWS WITH NICK CARR
Our U17s were able to play their own Herts U18 County Cup fixture when, following news that the opponent’s pitch was waterlogged, the tie was switched to our 3G pitch to get the game played and we thank St. Albans City Youth (South) for agreeing to the switch. The result was a resounding 8-1 victory for our boys with Nathan Wing and Tyler Lowden grabbing two goals each whilst Finley Aldridge, Ajay Lidder, Hayden Scantlebury and Caelan McLeod also got on the scoresheet. This result ends a fantastic first half of the season for our U17s who top their league and have made it to the 4th round of the Herts U18 County Cup where they are playing up a year.
Our U15s strengthened their 2nd place position in the league, with games in hand on the leaders, with a 2-1 victory over Cockfosters who have been league champions for the past two seasons. The scoreline didn’t reflect what was a comfortable win however, as we wasted several chances to open the scoring in the first half, missing a simple tap-in and a relatively easy header from within the 6-yard box. We then gifted Cockfosters the game’s opening goal midway through the second half when a poorly judged pass across the goal was intercepted by a Cockfosters forward who then gave himself the simple task of slotting the ball home. This focused our boys, who upped their game and Lavel Davis-Thomas very quickly restored parity from the penalty spot after a Cockfosters defender had pushed Kyle Devers at a corner kick. Brandon Owen then secured us all three points from a swift counter attack that was straight off the training ground. After this the boys were able to comfortably see the game out and should even have extended their lead, somehow contriving to miss two gilt-edged opportunities in front of goal that would have made the scoreline a better reflection of the game.
Our U14s were unable to make it a clean sweep of victories as they suffered a 3-0 defeat away in a league fixture at the hands of local rivals Stotfold, although it was a closer game than the scoreline suggests. Stotfold scored with their only real attempt at goal in the first half and led 1-0 at the break. Two mistakes from our boys within two minutes of each other in the second half saw Stotfold extend their lead and then defend it resolutely to keep a clean sheet and take all three points.
Football matters take a back seat now as all four teams enjoy the mid-season break for the Christmas festivities. The season will start again on Sunday 5th January 2020.
Happy Christmas to all our parents, supporters and followers from everyone at Hitchin Town Youth EJA.
CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE CANARY CLUB
There will be a Christmas Party at the Canary Club this Saturday 21 December from 7.30pm organised by Hitchin Town FC. We would love to welcome everyone along.
The wonderful “Hot Tub Steps” will be playing for us; they played at the Cider Festival and went down an absolute storm. Hayley the vocalist really can rock a tune! They play popular covers and will get the room dancing (Check them out of facebook).
Rose will be kindly providing a buffet for us, so plenty of food to go round. There will also be a 50/50 draw during the evening. We would like to be able to raise some money for the Club and all three of our charity partners. You support would be greatly appreciated.
Come and enjoy a dance and drink with us all and let us make it a very happy Christmas 2019.
Tickets available online https://hitchintownfc.ktckts.com/brand/entertainment or in The Canary Club from Rose and Steve £5 per ticket.
MARK BURKE ON BIGGLESWADE TOWN
“No local derby is ever easy as these games see form go out of the window with local bragging rights at stake. Biggleswade have had a fine season and are comfortably placed in the league. Despite a number of players following the previous manager to Hendon they have continued to produce good results under the guidance of Biggleswade legend Chris Nunn. We will be determined to get a positive result and I am sure we will have the backing of a large number of Hitchin supporters.”
Finally on behalf of Mark and myself have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year with hopefully plenty of league points.
BY ROY IZZARD