Saturday 29 December home to Needham Market League kick off 3.00pm.
Tuesday 1 January away to Royston Town League kick off 3.00pm.
HITCHIN TOWN LADIES/HITCHIN TOWN UNDER 19’S
Neither the Ladies nor the Academy team had a game last week or next week due to Christmas.
- Noah Chesmain returns to the squad for Saturday
- Alex Anderson returns to the squad for Saturday
- Vlad Bursa has returned to Moldova for Christmas
- Jack Green is not available for Saturday or Tuesday.
FAIR PLAY TABLE
We are currently top of the Fair Play Table. We have 72 points with Stratford on 100, Rushall on 102 and Needham Market on 104. The bottom four clubs are Bedworth on 238, Lowestoft on 200, St Neots on 172 and Banbury on 158.
ATTTENDANCE LEAGUE TABLE
We are currently 9th in the average attendance league table with our average of 357. Stourbridge are top with 707 followed by Kettering 682, Kings Lynn 661 and Halesowen 578. At the bottom it is Bedworth with 198 followed by Coalville 206, Barwell 219 and St Ives 228. Our average is quite good considering we have only had six Saturday home games and two were played in awful weather conditions which badly affected the attendance. Overall our supporters have again been very loyal despite our being in the relegation zone for a large part of the season. The attendance of 693 on Boxing Day was particularly impressive.
HALF SEASON TICKET
A half season ticket is now on sale. It is an eleven game package and starts on 5 January. Prices are adults £100, concessions £60 and young adults £25. These are good value for money so please follow the link on the website.
Can I thank all those who have passed on their best wishes to me since I had my health scare last week. It is much appreciated that people genuinely care. I went in to hospital last Wednesday and was subsequently released only to be readmitted on Thursday and stayed overnight before being released on Friday. I did suffer a minor stroke that thankfully does not appear to have caused any long term damage and it has been caused by my heart not functioning properly. I am now on a series of tablets and while I am still very weak I am relieved to know I have been diagnosed.
Last Thursday I made a number of football calls from my hospital bed to make sure everything was covered if I did not get out to see the football. I suppose I should have worried about my health but I could not rest without knowing everything was ok with the club. When the consultant agreed to release me and allowed me to go to the football I was so relieved. Friends have said I should have given the football a miss but I assured them I would have felt much worse at home. It is the football that keeps me going!
Thanks to Stewart Curtis for producing a bulletin last week. I would have ended my version by wishing all supporters a happy Christmas and prosperous new year so hopefully Pudgy will accept my apologies for not being able to deliver that message until now. We have great supporters and I can assure you the club do not take them for granted.
NORTH HERTS FM
The Commentary Team of Annie Barnes, Freddie Cardy, Patrick Sloan and Brian Gray will be your hosts as North Herts FM bring you live commentary of the following games at Top Field:
- Saturday 29th December 2018 versus Needham Market from 2:45pm.
- Saturday 5th January 2019 versus AFC Rushden and Diamonds from 2:45pm.
If you are unable to get to either of the games, then please join us as our commentary team bring you full, live commentary of all the action.
MANAGER’S NOTES WITH MARK BURKE
I felt the scoreline was very harsh as I did not feel we played at all badly. 5-0 did not reflect the performance we put in. The first two goals were unbelievable strikes with the second coming on the stroke of half time. We then probably should have made it 2-1 but missed a great chance and Kettering broke to immediately score their third goal. We then conceded two late penalties one of which was very dubious.
I was happy that we competed throughout against one of the best teams in the league and those supporters present will agree the final score did not reflect the game.
As with the Kettering game I again felt we competed very well. We started well and were on the front foot. The first half was nip and tuck with nothing between the two teams and 0-0 was the correct scoreline at half time. The second half followed a similar pattern but Biggleswade took the lead when Edwin Mensah slipped allowing Jonny McNamara to cross for Liam Brooks to score. We then missed a great chance to equalise before we got punished after conceding a late penalty. But through the game there was very little between the teams and we did field four under 20’s in our side.
So I was not unhappy with our performances against Kettering and Biggleswade who are both in the play-off positions.
There is a lot of pride that needs to be restored tomorrow after the embarrassing 8-1 defeat at Needeham Market early in the season. There have been many changes since that game but Needham Market have continued to perform well. They are a team with great goal potential but I will certainly be looking to get something from the game.
We have twice played Royston Town in the League Cup and both games were very tight. I do not expect Tuesday’s game to be any different as the two teams are so well matched.