- Saturday 21 September away to Barton Rovers Emirates FA Cup kick-off 3pm.
If the game is drawn the replay will be at Top Field on Monday 23 September kick-off 7.45pm.
- Tuesday 24 September away to Kings Langley League kick-off 7.45pm.
BARTON ROVERS AWAY DAY
With such a short journey involved it would be great to see Hitchin supporters travel to Barton in great numbers and make it like a home game. Last year’s run created great excitement and memories that will never be forgotten and the supporters were absolutely brilliant – who can forget the atmosphere created at Leatherhead. We need the same again on Saturday as it will be a difficult local derby. The players really appreciate your great support even when we have been struggling this season. The prize money on Saturday is £6,750 for the winners and £2,250 for the losers.
Admission prices are £8 for adults, £6 for senior citizens and 16-18 year olds while under 16’s are free.
The draw for the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup will be live on talkSPORT2 at approximately 1.30pm on Monday 23 September.
There was a very good attendance of 369 for Monday’s game with AFC Rushden & Diamonds. This vindicates our decision to move from Wednesdays back to Mondays for our midweek games and a number of supporters commented to me that they were pleased with the change.
We really have to thank our hard working ground staff for providing such a good surface in the short time after Saturday’s game. I know Mondays are not ideal for them and we really appreciate their efforts which means we receive higher match day income from better attendances than we would get on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
- We are pleased to welcome striker Stephen Cawley who has joined on a month’s loan from Hemel Hempstead. He is a player Mark Burke has long admired. Stephen is coming back from a long term injury but is available to play in the Emirates FA Cup match tomorrow. Full story here.
- Max Ryan is suspended for the Barton game after his red card at Banbury.
- Various fitness tests will be required ahead of the Barton game.
HITCHIN TOWN UNDER 19’S
The SCL League team were beaten 4-0 by Sturridge on Wednesday. Next week the SCL League team are away to West Ham Blues and the National League team are away to St Albans.
HITCHIN TOWN LADIES WITH CALLUM ELLIS
Northwood Ladies V Hitchin Town Ladies FC
Our opposition were Northwood, previous winners and runners up of Division One in the last two seasons. So we were up against a well established Division One team!
It was Northwood who opened the scoring but it was quickly cancelled out when Wilfort drove forward and had a one on one with the keeper in a 50/50 challenge that saw the ball bounce into the empty net for the equaliser. Half time came and Hitchin were truly matching if not bettering their opponents
In the second half, Gash flicked the ball onto Coughlan who slotted past the keeper and made it 2-1. Northwood grabbed the equaliser in the 93rd minute.
I am extremely proud of how the ladies performed today. I genuinely thought there was a loss coming today and I would not have minded if we played great football. Today our ladies showed that they are also a Division One team taking the game to Northwood. There is a massive jump from Division 2 to 1 but our squad have adapted well and so far are still proving they have a lot more to give to this club. One comment stood out for me today that I heard was ‘ladies we are losing to a team that finished 10 places below us’ that just shows how far we have come in the past three seasons.
We return to our home ICKLEFORD on Sunday 22nd September against Hartham Ladies, 14:00 kick off. Our Reserves are away to Herts Vipers, at The Arena also 14:00 kick off.’
EJA NEWS WITH NICK CARR
Our EJA teams had another very successful weekend, winning three of their four games and drawing the other.
Our U14s were the biggest winners of the day when they beat Saffron Walden Community Youth 8-1 in the League Challenge Cup with goals coming from Harry Gatt (2), Stanley Howell (2), Anesti Kyrio (2), Rafael Miles and Lucas Cashin.
Our U17s and U18s both had 4-0 away wins in their League Challenge Cup fixtures. The 17s beating Barkingside Youth with goals from Jack Hewitt, Ollie Trott, Tyler Lowden and Hayden Scantlebury, whilst the 18s triumphed over Woodford Town with a Jack Holmes hat-trick and Dan Nunn netting the other.
Finally, our U15s drew 1-1 at Ware FC in a friendly fixture which allowed us the opportunity to experiment with a different formation. Brandon Owen scored for our boys from the penalty spot.
This Sunday sees all four teams back in competitive action.
- Our U14s host Berkhamsted Youth in the 3rd round of the Hertfordshire FA County Youth Cup at North Herts College, kick-off 12pm.
- Our U15s return to league action at home to Cambridge City Youth at The Arena, Baldock, kick-off 10:30am.
- Our U17s also have a league fixture and make the short trip to The Valley, Stevenage for a 2:30pm kick-off against Biggleswade Town.
- Finally, our U18s travel to Harlow for a 10:00am league encounter versus Harlow Town Youth.
MANAGER’S NOTES WITH MARK BURKE
After the disaster at Welwyn the previous Tuesday it was vital we did not concede against top of the table Banbury. This meant I set the team up in a defensive formation to try and frustrate Banbury who are an excellent footballing team.
After the first fifteen minutes when Banbury dominated things went according to our plan and I was very happy to reach half time at 0-0. I always felt we would get a chance on the break and this happened when Leon Okuboyejo capitalised on a short back pass and had a shot blocked. It rebounded to him and he was brought down.
I was obviously disappointed we missed the penalty and that feeling was further accentuated when a second penalty was missed soon after. After the game my first feeling was regret that we had not taken the three points but on reflection we had achieved our initial aim of achieving a clean sheet and remaining unbeaten.
AFC RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS
Our difficult run of fixtures continued on Monday as we faced Rushden meaning we had played five of the top seven clubs. Rushden came in to the game in good form and due to injuries we were down to the bare bones even losing Josh Bickerstaff in the pre match warm up. Our lack of numbers resulted in a debut for 16 year old Ross Hannah who is a member of our college scheme.
We built on the dogged defensive performance we produced at Banbury and were very resilient against Rushden’s attacks. We deserved to be level at half time but when Rushden scored with 20 minutes to go our task was made even harder. However we showed great character to come back and earn a point through a late penalty. After the debacle at Welwyn it was heartening to produce two committed performances against two very good sides.
On Saturday we make the short journey to our old friends Barton Rovers (I can even walk to the game). It is the Emirates FA Cup and a local derby so form goes out of the window. Barton have five players who have played at Hitchin and are managed by ex Canary Tony Fontanelle and are sure to raise their game. Barton have nothing to lose so it will be a difficult challenge. We must apply ourselves and be very professional and look to replicate the performance at Wisbech in the last round.
I am sure a large number of our supporters will come to Barton and as Roy has said earlier in the bulletin the supporters were a vital part of our FA Cup run last year. I know it has not been an easy start to the season but please really get behind the team tomorrow and be our twelfth man.
On Tuesday we play at Kings Langley after the Bank Holiday game was postponed due to problems with their pitch. Kings Langley have picked up eight points despite only playing one home game and six away games. We need to build on the two performances against Banbury and Rushden and continue to show the application and work rate that underlined those two games.
BY ROY IZZARD