Saturday 5 January home to AFC Rushden and Diamonds League kick off 3:00pm.
There is no midweek fixture.
HERTS CHARITY CUP
The 2017/18 Herts Charity Cup will be presented to chairman Terry Barratt at half time on Saturday. Herts F A representatives will be at the AFC Rushden and Diamonds game to make the presentation. Hitchin were awarded the Hers Charity Cup after Hemel Hempstead withdrew from the final due to concerns over pitch safety.
The semi final against Royston Town in this year’s Herts Charity Cup has just been arranged and will take place at Top Field on Wednesday 13 February kick off 7.45pm.
HITCHIN LADIES FC/ HITCHIN TOWN UNDER 19’S
Hitchin Ladies are without a game this Sunday.
The Academy side are at home to Brentford on Wednesday 9 January at the Arena kick off 2.00pm.
- Michael Cain faces a fitness test on Saturday.
- Matt Nolan is available on Saturday.
- Jack Green and Alex Anderson will be in the squad on Saturday.
EJA TEAM NEWS
Starting this week our EJA secretary Nick Carr will provide news of our EJA teams. Here follows his first report:
Three of our four Eastern Junior Alliance (EJA) teams return to action on Sunday following the Christmas/New Year break.
The EJA is the South East of England’s leading youth football development league for U13s to U18s whose parent club play at step 5 and above of the non league game. It bridges the gap between the academy levels of the professional game and regular youth football.
Our U18s have a league fixture away at St. Albans City, kick off 10:30am
The U16s are at home to Wisbech St. Mary in the EJA Chairman’s Cup, kick off 1:30pm, whilst the U14s are also at home, with Hemel Athletic their opponents in the Hertfordshire FA County Cup, kick off 10:30am. Both home games are at Ickleford Sports & Recreation Club.
Our U13 EJA team has a friendly this Saturday (5th) and has space to feature one or two trialists. Please contact Jon (07739-936341) if interested.
FA CUP SHIRT AUCTION
Unfortunately due to my recent health problems I had not been able to work out the surplus made on the auction of the Solihull FA Cup shirts. I am pleased to say that I have now finished my calculations and together with the Butts Close parking donations we will be presenting a cheque for £600 to the Royal British Legion. Many thanks to all of you who donated and it is great that we can help yet another charity to add to our list. We are proud to be a true community club and will continue to work with local and national charities in the future.
MANAGER’S NOTES WITH MARK BURKE
Again we started the game very positively and were on the front foot causing Needham Market problems. Unfortunately as has been the case recently we had nothing to show for our good play and our opponents were able to get in to the game. They had a 10 minute spell where they created chances and the difference was that they took one of theirs which we had failed to do.
We responded well up to half time and also started the second half well. But we were punished from Needham Market’s first attack which saw them take a 2-0 lead. I then thought we battled all the way to the end and we did get a goal but it was too little too late.
I was not happy with our start to the New Years Day game at Royston. We did not get going in the first 20 minutes and were possibly fortunate not to go behind. However we then grew in to the game and started to take control. The second half performance was very good and I felt we deserved to get something from the game. But to win games you need to score goals and we did not capitalise on our good play and we then got punished for a defensive lapse.
They say football is a funny old game. Just two weeks before the Royston game we were celebrating our fourth straight victory and I had hoped we had turned the corner in our league season. Those four games had seen us taking our opportunities when in control of matches and reaping the rewards. However the last four games have seen us revert to the matches we played before that successful run when we were playing good football but our quality in the last third of the pitch was not clinical. We have been competing with teams above us in the table but the lack of goals has proved our downfall.
I believe we are not a million miles away from having a very good team which can compete against the teams above us in the table and I will be making every effort to add players to the squad that can make a difference. I urge supporters not to panic and trust us to get things right.
AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS
Rushden are having a good season and we will face them on the back of a very good performance against Kettering on New Years Day. When we played Rushden away it was a good close encounter where we fell short for the reasons stated above. I will be looking for a response from the players to our run of defeats and I am confident we will see that on Saturday.