Saturday 13 October away to Bedworth League kick off 3.00pm. Coach leaves at 11.00am.
Wednesday 17 October home to Tring Athletic Herts Senior Cup kick off 7.45pm.
Prices for the Tring game have been reduced to £6 for adults and £4 for concessions with a further £1 saving if tickets are bought online.
HITCHIN TO FEATURE IN THE DAILY MAIL
Saturday is Non League Day and the Daily Mail are sending top football reporter Matt Barlow and a photographer to do a special feature on Hitchin Town which will appear in their Monday football magazine The Verdict. They are travelling on the team coach and will have full access to players and management. This will be great publicity for the club and we thank Matt Furniss from our social media team for setting this up.
- Macsen Fraser will miss the Bedworth game through injury.
- Charlie Smith will miss the Bedworth game through injury.
- Robbie Burns faces a fitness test before the Bedworth game.
- Elliot Bailey and Kieran McCaffrey have continued to play for Hertford.
- Dessie De Silva and Craig Packham have continued to play for Stotfold.
- Keiran Barnes has continued to play for Baldock.
After a poor start to the season with 12 goals conceded in the first three games we have only conceded eight goals in the last eleven games. We are unbeaten in eight games with one defeat In eleven games. We have kept three clean sheets in the last four games.
However six of our last eight games have been cup ties so we still urgently need to improve our league form and start climbing the table.
Next Saturday will see us renew rivalry with our old Isthmian League colleagues Leatherhead in the fourth qualifying round of the F A Cup. We last reached the first round proper in the 1995/96 season when we did not enter the competition until the fourth qualifying round. Since then we have been beaten by Weymouth in 2007/08, Aldershot in 2001/02 and Merthyr in 1999/2000 in the final qualifying round.
The importance of the Leatherhead game is clear to everyone. There is £25,000 prize money at stake and the chance to reach the first round proper for the first time in 23 years. We really do need the public of Hitchin to come out in force for this game so please encourage your friends, neighbours, relatives, school mates and work colleagues to come to Top Field next Saturday. Your great support can make the difference in this critical game. Do not forget you can buy discounted tickets online up to 8:00pm next Friday, by clicking here.
MARK BURKE ON BEDWORTH AND TRING
We face a very important league match away to Bedworth on Saturday. Whilst we enjoyed the F A Cup success last Saturday we have been fully focused on preparing for this league fixture during the week. Both teams have struggled in the league so far and will be looking to take something away from the match to keep in touch with the teams above them in the table.
I have reiterated the importance of this game to the players and made it clear to them that we must park all thoughts of next week’s F A Cup match and ensure we concentrate fully on the Bedworth game.
Tring will prove difficult opponents as they are riding high at the top of their league. They possess a number of players who have played at our level and above. However we will be doing our level best to progress further in the County Cup. It will also be a final opportunity for players to impress me ahead of the F A Cup tie with Leatherhead with places up for grabs.
HITCHIN TOWN UNDER 19’S
The under 19’s beat Brightlingsea 4-1 in a cup game on Wednesday with Dessie De Silva among the scorers.
HITCHIN TOWN LADIES FC
Manager Callum Ellis reports on the Ladies defeat on Sunday:
On Sunday 7th October 2018, Hitchin Town Ladies FC played away to Division 1 side Sharnbrook Ladies FC in the League Cup. With five players injured or sick we started the game with 11 players and no subs.
The game started positively for both teams with fairly equal possession. It was Hitchin that had the upper hand and there was a good link up with Cain-Murnane & Wilfort down the left side which sent in Gash but her shot was saved low by the keeper.
Sharnbrook then attacked but the move came to an abrupt end when Fursland won possession in the penalty box. Their player called for a penalty but the referee waved the claim away. There was another Hitchin break where Wilfort pushed the ball through to Gash but there was too much on the pass and it went in to the keeper’s arms.
The play was fairly even with end to end moves. Gash was causing problems for the Sharnbrook defence and their long balls were calmly dealt each time by the Hitchin defence. Sharnbrook took a quick shot and tried to lob the keeper. It was sent back out of the box but fell to a Sharnbrook player who drilled it into the bottom corner. Within minutes Sharnbrook doubled their lead capitalising on a Hitchin mistake from a throw and pressing into the box.
Hitchin had a good break just after the twenty minute mark and pushed through the midfield via Watson. She played a perfectly weighted ball to Gash who unfortunately found a tree behind the goal. Hitchin were not yet finished and mistakes were being made by Sharnbrook . Hitchin pressed through Wilfort but she got struck by a follow through tackle and was carried off for treatment. Hitchin were down to 10 for a while.
Chaffey led the next Hitchin attack and pushed a ball through a gap in the defence and Gash with a darting run put the ball in the back of the net to make it 2-1. Wilfort came back into play after being treated but Sharnbrook got on the attack and regained their two goal lead.
Gash got put through by Franklin and nutmegged the keeper who followed through and brought Gash down. Gash was carried off the pitch with a knee injury which saw her sit out the remainder of the game. Sharnbrook started to attack Hitchin and the ball was crossed in but punched clear by Thompson.
Sharnbrook got the fourth when Hawkridge couldn’t stop the next two players chasing her down. Sharnbrook added a fifth minutes later when another wild shot was put in the top corner and Thompson wobbled off with current injuries plaguing her. Hitchin were down to 9 players but continued to fight. Chaffey went in goal for the remainder of the game and jumped high to collect a ball sent in from a free kick.
Sharnbrook attacked in numbers and a sixth goal was scored despite an apparent offside. Sharnbrook then made it seven when again no offside flag was forthcoming.
Hitchin came off smiling and laughing with each other and are happy to be out of the League Cup. This gives us time to focus on Division Two and excel in this year’s targets. No matter what happened today the ladies were a credit to the Hitchin crest.
We are at home to Letchworth Garden City Eagles at Offley Recreation Ground, Kings Walden Road 2.00pm kick off on Sunday. This will be a game you would not want to miss.
FAMILIAR FACES AT TOP FIELD
It was good to see Rucksack Chris back at Top Field last Saturday. He told me he is making good progress in his recovery and has gained more mobility, and did not need a carer to help him. Thanks to Kate Deller for providing transport for Chris.
It was also good to see Derek Barker back in his role as kit manager last Saturday after his recent heart scare which forced him to miss a number of games. Welcome back Del Boy!