Saturday 10 October home to Leiston League kick-off 3pm. Please remember that you have to buy your ticket online-there is no cash payment on the day. Click here to buy tickets.
There is no midweek fixture. The Needham Market game that was postponed on Monday has been rearranged for Monday 9 November.
We have signed two new defenders. Samuel Okoye-Ahaneku was previously with Wingate and Finchley under 23’s while Daniel Akubuine is on a dual registration with Hemel Hempstead.
I have been saying I was confident we would reach our £50,000 target but to end up with £61,000 is way beyond my wildest expectations. I would like to thank every donor for their generosity and support which makes me realise how important Hitchin Town FC is to so many people. We needed help and you responded and we can now ensure Top Field will have all the necessary repairs and maintenance carried out to ensure it provides a safe environment for supporters. It also means we will now be able to meet the ground grading requirements and avoid the automatic relegation that would have ensued if we had failed.
I have said before how proud all the committee members are of the response of our supporters and I make no excuse for repeating this. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused major problems throughout society so for our supporters to have given hard earned money to our Crowdfunder at a time when so many are struggling is quite humbling.
I am currently writing a special article about the Crowdfunder which I hope to have available sometime next week.
HTFC RADIO COMMENTARY
HTFC Radio will have live and exclusive commentary of Hitchin’s league game against Leiston on Saturday. Freddie Cardy is alongside Marac Alionic in the commentary box from 2:45pm.
To listen to HTFC Radio, click here.
The funeral of John Woodward will take place at the Vale, Stopsley on Wednesday at 11am. It will be for family only.
ACADEMY UPDATE BY MICHAEL JONES
Tuesday 6 October all players completed a charity run for current student Ryan Sibanda. All players had to complete laps of the Top Field pitch to help raise money to help Ryan during this difficult time. The total raised was well over £1000 and the players completed the target of 500km between them all.
Wednesday 7 October we had two games, our National Youth Alliance team were at home to Walton & Hersham while our SCL team were away to Barking.
Away to Barking in the SCL East Division we started the game strongly despite some heavy legs from Tuesdays charity run. We also had a goalkeeping crisis with 4 out of our 5 goalkeepers unavailable with Daniel Weaver playing in the home match. We are very lucky to have great characters within the academy and Kai Dawson sacrificed his own game time to play in goal to help the team out. Half time there was not much in it between the two sides with chances limited for both, meaning both sides came in at 1-1 after an unbelievable strike from their player and a Matthew Morton goal right on the whistle for us. In the second half we were always on the front foot creating more chances and playing some excellent football in the process. With about 15 minutes to go a rare corner for Barking resulted in them taking the lead and late on when we were pushing for a more than deserved equaliser they caught us on the break to make the final score 3-1 to the hosts.
Starting Team – Kai Dawson, Tyrese Oates ©, Joe Warne, Scott Wilson, Nathan Bell, Ansu Koroma, Tyler Toms, Finn Staples, Ronaldo Caromba, Matthew Morton, Morgan Seaby.
Subs Used – Bailey Smith, Lewis Batten
At Home to Walton & Hersham FC we dominated the game from start to finish, creating loads of chances but only taking one of them which was a goal from Nikolay Rusev. The lads were excellent as all of them had put in maximum effort into Tuesdays charity run and still manged to play some good football, win the game and keep a clean sheet on the Wednesday.
Starting Team – Daniel Weaver, Aaron Hector, Callum Kane, Stanley Georgiou, Marlow Gough, Nikolay Rusev ©, Kye Tearle, Rajveer Samra, Jordan Webber, Luca Cardines, Flavius Drescanu.
Subs Used – Cameron Francis, Cameron Markland, Harvey Stock, Luke Wright.
FA YOUTH CUP
We have been reinstated in the FA Youth Cup after Newport Pagnell were thrown out because they played a player against us who was suspended. We will now travel to AFC Dunstable on Thursday 15 October.
MANAGER’S NOTES WITH MARK BURKE
I am bitterly disappointed our FA Cup dream is over for another year. St Albans started on the front foot and scored an early goal that was poorly defended. They doubled the lead with a senseless penalty that we conceded and the sending off that inevitably followed meant we had to play 70 minutes with 10 men. This left us with a mountain to climb but we reacted very well and took the game to St Albans.
I felt we were the better team in the second half and the match hinged on a crucial decision when Luke Brown was fouled by goalkeeper Michael Johnson but no penalty was given. This could have seen us back in the game and was followed by Callum Stead hitting the inside of the post but it proved not to be our day.
I made substitutions in the last 10 minutes to protect players in readiness for Monday night but St Albans reinforced their ranks and ultimately scored 3 goals in the last 4 minutes. Overall I was very proud of the players and their never say die attitude but you cannot afford to play the majority of the game with 10 men against a higher league team.
It was good to see Steve Conroy again and I wish manager Ian Allison and his assistant Chris Winton the best of luck in the next round and for the rest of the season.
Leiston had a good win at Leighton last weekend and followed it with a solid draw against AFC Rushden and Diamonds. Therefore they are in a good run of form and we will need to be at our best to win the game. 3 points would set us up nicely for Stratford next Saturday.
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
I was one of the lucky few allowed to watch the St Albans game behind closed doors and I can only say it was a depressing experience. Without supporters the atmosphere was sterile and it did not seem like a real game. It made me realise how lucky we are to be allowed supporters to watch our games as football without supporters is not the same game.
BY Roy Izzard