Saturday 23 February – Home to Stratford Town – League – Kick off 3pm.
Wednesday 27 February – Away to Letchworth Garden City Eagles – Vince Paige Trophy – Kick off 7:30pm. Please note the earlier kick off time.
- Scott Belgrove and Ezra Forde both trained on Thursday. Scott will be in the squad for Stratford while Ezra hopes to play some part in the Letchworth game.
- Alex Anderson started light training on Thursday but is not yet available to play.
- Josh Mollison has broken a finger and could be out for the rest of the season.
- The rest of the squad are available for selection.
HITCHIN TOWN V RUSHALL OLYMPIC SATURDAY 2 MARCH – WOMEN AT THE GAME
Plans are well under way for our annual Women at the Game 2nd March 2019, we must keep building on the previous years successes and reach more women; I am sure you will all agree Top Field is a wonderful place to share. This is the closest home game to International Women’s Day, so we hope to welcome as many families as possible. IWD is this year celebrating #Balancedforbetter for a more gender balanced society, we have taken that on board, entry will be “Pay what you want” for everyone. We will be welcoming Humanitas to raise awareness for their charity. Humanitas strives to provide support for health care, education and family life globally to people from every walk of life. This very much mirrors the message of the day of #Balancedforbetter, we hope that you can help us to generously support them in this endeavour.
Hitchin Town Ladies FC and Hitchin Belles FC will also be in attendance I am sure you will also give them a warm welcome back to Top Field, they made a terrific noise for the Canaries last year!
There will be free cake provided for every attendee, if anyone would like to join in the baking ‘frenzy’ and donate any, they would be gratefully received. You can contact Kate Deller on firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be a raffle for both the Men and Women which has been kindly donated by S & B Wick Brickwork and The Radcliffe Arms, Hitchin. The wonderful Tom Bellis from the Radcliffe Arms is also going to be making balloon animals for the children for a donation towards Humanitas. A massive thank you to both Tom and Steve for their generosity.
During the last month my daughter and myself have interviewed two wonderful women from Hitchin, who have both achieved so much, in both our community and in their personal endeavours. We discussed how they have reached this point through both education and support; highlighting how these factors helped them take their very different paths. We also considered how being a woman has affected them both in their working and personal lives. Both Gracie and myself hope that you will read and enjoy what these women had to say.
Thank you in advance for any cakes, everyone at Hitchin Town FC is looking forward to welcoming existing and new supporters on the 2nd. Please do share and invite as many friends as you can. COYC
We recently heard the sad news that Gary Pilsworth passed away at far too young an age. Gary was well known in local football circles and managed Arlesey Town, St Neots and Eynesbury Rovers. He had been a goalkeeper and became a well respected referee. Mark Burke remembers Gary very well. He used to train with Hitchin pre-season and while he was manager at Arlesey Gary used Mark, Zema Abbey and Mark Burgess on dual registration to give them game time after recovering from injury.
I also knew Gary and was lucky enough to have kept in touch with him as he was a client of my accountancy firm. For the last four years I had worked on his accounts and when I met him we always spent the first part of our meeting discussing the fortunes of Hitchin Town before we moved on to the accounts. He was a real gentleman and we send condolences to his family at this difficult time.
HITCHIN TOWN UNDER 19’S
The academy season resume their season on Wednesday 27 February with a home game against Staines at The Arena kick off 1.00pm.
HITCHIN TOWN LADIES FC
Sunday 17th February marked the return to football for Hitchin Town Ladies. The Ladies had not played since January 13th! We returned to cup action where we paid another visit to Sharnbrook this season. We lost 7-1 earlier in the season in the League Cup to the Division One team and we were hoping to return to progress in to the next round of the Chris Renshaw Cup.
The game got underway and it was Hitchin that had the upper hand within the opening minutes. Hitchin attacked the Sharnbrook defence and rattled the woodwork early on from a Chaffey shot. Gash saw her shot hit the crossbar and the keeper gathered the loose ball. Hitchin didn’t stop and it was Smith who was dragging the defence out to her on the right opening gaps for the Ladies to pile into the box. A misplaced header from a Hitchin player kept the score line 0-0.
Goal Hitchin! It was Wilfort who linked up with Chaffey who crossed the ball across the face of goal to reach Gash’s sliding foot and she slammed the ball into the back of the net.
Goal Hitchin! Chaffey saw a glimpse of the top corner from the edge of the box. She stopped the ball dead and shot straight into the top corner and made it 2-0 to Hitchin.
Goal Hitchin! Gash was sent through one on one against the Sharnbrook keeper and slotted past her to make it 3-0 to Hitchin.
From the first half performance you would never have known the Ladies had been out of action for a month. The second half got underway and there was not much to report. The Ladies were defending well against Sharnbrook who got their second wind and were pushing for their first goal. They did find a couple of gaps in the Hitchin defence to toe poke the ball home.
The game started to heat up and it was Hitchin who defended in numbers to kill off an attack from Sharnbrook. It was Hawkridge that put in a player of the game performance with her constant hard work and not allowing herself to be beaten.
The game finished 3-1 to Hitchin and the Ladies go into the quarter finals of the Chris Renshaw Cup.
Our next game is on Sunday 24 February 2019, against Royston Town Development Ladies, at Barkway Recreation Centre, Royston, 14:00 kick off.
EJA TEAM NEWS
It was a weekend of mixed fortunes for our EJA sides at the weekend with wins for our U13 and U14s and defeat for the U16 and U18s.
The U14s kicked off the action on Friday night with a 4-1 win over Bury Town in the EJA U14 Midweek Cup at Top Field. They followed this up on Sunday with another 4-1 win, this time against Ware FC in the league.
The U13s overcame league leaders Cambridge City by 3-2 in a very close match at The Arena, Baldock on Sunday and are heading into the last third of their season in some style.
The U16s bowed out of the London FA Challenge Cup at the semi-final stage, going down 2-1 away at Hampstead Stags on Sunday, whilst the U18s also exited a cup competition, this time at the quarter-final stage 4-1 at home to Concord Rangers.
This weekend sees three of the four teams in action. The U13s have a local derby on Sunday against Stotfold at The Arena, Baldock, kickoff 2pm. The U14s are at home to Bishops Stortford in yet another cup competition, kickoff is 11am on Sunday at Ickleford Sports & Recreation Club. The U18s complete the action on Sunday with a home league match versus Coggeshall Town, 11am kickoff at North Herts College, Hitchin.
If you can get along to any of the games this weekend to cheer the boys on, they would really appreciate it.
MANAGER’S NOTES WITH MARK BURKE
Before the game I told the players that the result would be pivotal to our season. If we were to lose we would be 8 points behind Barwell even though we would have 2 games in hand, but if we were to win we would be on their shirt tails and only 2 points behind.I said I would accept a draw to keep the status quo however it was a game that I had targeted as one of the wins we needed to secure safety.
We started with an excellent tempo and really forced Barwell back in their own half. We had a couple of good chances and I felt we should have had a penalty. We did take the lead and it was a bizarre goal. Noah Chesmain hit a free kick that saw the keeper try to kick the ball away but he made a complete mess of it. He redeemed himself a little later with an excellent save from Isaac Galliford which kept the score to 1-0 at half time.
The second half saw Barwell increasingly exert pressure using the elements and the slope of the pitch as well as employing 4 strikers. It was a game of risk but they caused us problems and we defended very resolutely and looked dangerous on the counter.
I felt we deserved our victory because of our work rate and it has brought Barwell back in to the relegation mix.
We got off to the perfect start and I was pleased that Alfie Cue broke his scoring duck. Royston then got in to the game and Michael Johnson made a couple of good saves. We then again scored at a vital stage just before half time which allowed us to go in at the break under less pressure.
Once again we had the perfect start in the second half and scored our third goal and then we managed the game really well to secure our passage to the Herts Charity Cup final.
Once again we are playing a team chasing a play-off place and Stratford have had an excellent season to date. We had them watched at Rushden on Tuesday and despite their defeat they played very well despite the absence of their 2 regular central defenders. We know they will return on Saturday and that will strengthen their team.
Having won 5 of our last 6 games confidence is very high and there is a real competition for places which while making my life more difficult is very healthy. It is a month since out last home league game so I look forward to seeing as many supporters as possible at Top Field on Saturday.
On Wednesday we again contest the Vince Paige Trophy against our local rivals Letchworth Garden City Eagles. We are the current holders of the Trophy and will aim to retain it.