Here is the weekly round-up of all things Hitchin Town FC from Club Secretary, Roy Izzard.
JUST ONE FIXTURE
Saturday 18 August away to Lowestoft league kick off 3.00pm. Coach leaves at 10.30am.
There is no midweek game.
Much has been said and written about the Needham Market game. One thing I really noticed after the game was the determination of both the players and management to put things right. Their apologies to supporters were sincere and they felt just as bad as we did.
Events at Needham Market reminded me of going to Slough on 5 April 1980 for a league game. There was nothing to fear as we had drawn 1-1 with Slough at Top Field the previous Saturday but we came away with a 10-0 defeat. While we were obviously not very good Slough scored with a dramatically high percentage of their chances and it was a freak result. The following Saturday we beat Hayes 1-0 so let us hope history repeats itself.
We were very poor at Needham Market but just as at Slough they were incredibly clinical in taking the chances that came their way. Changing three of the back four from the Kettering game did not help and the absence of Elliot Bailey, Jack Green, Macsen Fraser, Lewis Ferrell, Jay Dowie and Robbie Burns was always going to hurt us. Strangely when we pulled back to 2-1 we did get on top for ten minutes and created chances but the third goal ended our hopes. The sending off of Josh Bickerstaff was a further blow and then Isaac Galliford got injured and had to come off. I am not making excuses and the whole squad know they must improve but there were some mitigating circumstances. Also Needham Market were excellent on the night and could not have been sharper.
I was very impressed by the Needham Market officials who were very humble in their victory and in no way gloated at our misfortune. I also must thank the Hitchin supporters who attended the game and did not turn on the players despite the score.
Anyway Needham Market is now history and it is down to the players to show at Lowestoft that we are a competitive side who can climb the table.
- Macsen Fraser is available for the Lowestoft game.
- Isaac Galliford got injured at Needham Market and will miss the Lowestoft game but hopes to be back next Saturday.
- Kyle Davison is injured and misses the Lowestoft game.
- Elliot Baily is available for the Lowestoft game.
- Robbie Burns is available for the Lowestoft game.
- Jay Dowie is still on course to return at the end of August.
- Kieran McCaffrey will miss the Lowestoft game due to a family matter but will be available next Saturday.
- Lewis Ferrell misses Lowestoft due to a commitment that was arranged before he signed for Hitchin but will be back next Saturday.
SOUTHERN LEAGUE CUP
Hitchin have been drawn at home To Harrow Borough in the Southern League Cup Preliminary Round. The game will be played on Wednesday 5th September kick off 7.45pm.
FURTHER REFECTIONS FROM MARK BURKE
Mark expanded on the manager’s notes that he put out on Wednesday when I spoke to him on Friday morning. He told me that before Thursday night’s training session there was a team meeting to draw a line under the performance at Needham Market and to make sure we were looking forward to the Lowestoft game and preparing correctly. The players wanted to apologise to the supporters who attended the Needham Market game and have decided to offer a £10 goodwill payment to those who travelled. Please see the separate news item for more details on this story.
Mark said it was a positive training session and the players must now dust themselves down and learn from their mistakes. On Tuesday night and Wednesday morning Mark said he could not have felt any worse. However his mood was uplifted by the numerous messages of support he received. These came from former players, former team mates he had played with, sponsors, other club managers, supporters, family and friends.
Mark said it was quite humbling and he really appreciated our own fans who sent their support through social media and the forum where they showed they are true supporters of the club through thick and thin. Mark was also impressed with the class shown both on and off the field by the Needham Market team and management who showed a great deal of humility.