FIXTURES
Saturday 2 March home to Rushall Olympic League – kick off 3:00pm.
This is a pay what you want game so please encourage family, friends, relatives and work colleagues to sample the unique Top Field experience at an affordable price.

Wednesday 6 March home to Tamworth league – kick off 7:45pm.

PAY WHAT YOU WANT ON SATURDAY/ WOMEN AT THE GAME
We host our annual Women at the Game fixture vs. Rushall Olympic at Top Field this Saturday, 2 March 2019.

This is the closest home match to International Women’s Day, which is celebrating #BalancedForBetter this year, championing a more gender balanced society. We therefore hope to welcome fans from all walks of life, with the following on offer to tempt you in:

Pay what you want for all.

  • Free cake for every supporter.
  • 2x free raffles for ladies & gents.
  • Animal balloon making for Humanitas donations.
  • Supporting the Women at the Game campaign

Please come out and support YOUR Canaries team, who are currently flying on a run of six wins in their past seven games, for what should be a fantastic community atmosphere. A bumper attendance will literally be the icing on the cake!

Thank you, as ever, for your wonderful support!

PLAYER NEWS

  • Alex Anderson is still not available for selection.
  • Matt Nolan starts light training tomorrow.
  • Ezra Forde is now fit and available for selection.
  • Jay Bird our new signing from Milton Keynes is in the squad for the Rushall game.

SOCIAL CLUB ROOF
The state of the social club roof has been a source of embarrassment to us for some time. It has been letting in water through a number of leaks but the cost of a suitable repair has been so prohibitive that we have tried to make do and mend which has not been successful. Now with the profits from the FA Cup run to call upon work commenced this week on replacing the roof. It will take a while to complete and will be very expensive but it will be a great relief to have the work completed.

Once the roof has been completed we will start the next phase of clubhouse improvements and the toilets are first in line to be brought up to the required standard. Certain improvements have already been made including upgrading of the flooring and we will keep you informed as work progresses.

NORTH HERTS FM
North Herts FM will be back at Top Field to bring you live commentary of the next two Evostik Southern Premier League Central fixtures including Hitchin Town Football Club’s annual ‘Women at the Game’ day on Saturday 2nd March 2019. Games as follows:

Saturday 2nd March 2019 – Home to Rushall Olympic – Programme starts at 2:45pm
Wednesday 6th March 2019 – Home to Tamworth – Programme starts at 7:30pm

The North Herts FM Commentary Team of Annie Barnes, Freddie Cardy, Brian Gray, Rob Lamarr and Patrick Sloan will be your hosts bringing you full, live commentary of both games with programmes starting fifteen minutes before kick-off.

Please note we are on the ‘North Herts FM Extra’ channel on the North Herts FM website.

GORDON BANKS SHIRT AUCTION
We are now about to auction the blue goalkeeper’s shirt that Michael Johnson wore in celebration of the life of Gordon Banks, England’s World Cup winning goalkeeper, against Barwell, on 16th February 2019.

This is a one-off shirt worn on just this one occasion. It has the Hitchin Town logo and inscription: “In memory of Gordon Banks – 1937-2019” printed on it. It is unique and as such, we are looking to raise as much money as we can from the sale of it. The profits raised from the sale of this shirt will be donated to “ManKind Initiative” – a Charity chosen by “MJ” and his family, which supports men who have suffered domestic abuse.

The auction will open on Saturday 2nd March. More information can be found here.

CURRENT FORM TABLE
The last six games league table is a more accurate representation of form than the actual league table. Hitchin Town are second with five wins and a draw with league leaders Kettering on top with six straight wins. AFC Rushden & Diamonds are third , followed by Alvechurch, Coalville and Rushall Olympic. The bottom three are Bedworth in 22nd position with Needham Market and Halesowen just above in 21st and 20th positions.

Incidentally the last draw Hitchin featured in was back on 21 November against Leiston.

FAIR PLAY TABLE
Hitchin are joint top of the Fair Play table with AFC Rushden & Diamonds with Kings Lynn third. Bedworth are the bottom team followed by St Neots and Barwell.

HTCHIN TOWN LADIES FC
Royston Town Ladies Development Squad v Hitchin Town Ladies FC

Sunday 24th February 2019 we returned to league two action against the development squad of Royston Town Ladies. On our arrival it was quite clear that they were in this game to win as they had brought in three confirmed 1st team players who currently play in the Eastern Region Women’s Football League Premier Division. Our previous encounter this season saw us win 4-1.

The game got underway and within the first minute it was Chaffey sending Gash through a gap of the Royston defence. Gash was one on one and the Royston defender pulled Gash to the floor and the referee awarded us a free kick on the edge of the box. Chaffey stepped up and it hit the wall. Hitchin were on the attack again and Wilfort was running down the left wing, she swung a ball on to the head of Chaffey but the ball glanced over the crossbar.

Day was mazing through the defence of Royston for her shot to go over the bar. Great early pressure from Hitchin and a goal was coming. Franklin pulled up with a calf strain and was forced to make way for Watson. Day again attacked the Royston goal and this time it was a Chaffey corner that was sent in. Only for her header to again go over the crossbar. Royston were on the attack and a one on one was quickly stamped out by Smith who was tracking back. Royston however won a corner but it didn’t reach the near post and was dealt with by the Hitchin defence.

Goal Hitchin! Watson charged down the right wing and squared it to Day whose shot hit the cross bar and wass headed in by Captain Chaffey!

Royston responded well to go one on one with Thompson who dived at the Royston striker’s feet for her to shoot well over the crossbar from six yards. Royston were back attacking Hitchin and Thompson madea string of saves and the Royston striker again put the ball over the bar.

Half time and Hitchin led 1-0 against Royston. A game that was so far a disciplined performance from the ladies and they were on the front foot.

Wilfort made way for debut signing Wyatt and Holland made way for Piper.
The second half got underway and Hitchin were making progress down the line from a number of throw ins. Day fed Gash through the defence and the oncoming Royston keeper did enough to put her shot off for a goal kick.

Wyatt was leading a Hitchin attack and got the ball into the corner. She turned and cut the ball across the box and it took a deflection and went out for a corner. Royston cleared the corner and were on the attack again. It was Smith again making a run across the Royston striker seeing the ball go out for a goal kick. Wyatt led another attack on the left and crossed the ball into Chaffey and her shot found the keepers hands. Huffer clutched her hamstring and made way for Simon.

Goal Royston! A Royston Town Ladies 1st Team player found space to shoot at goal and placed it into the back of the net. A lot of work to do for Hitchin to find the three points.
Another injury to Hitchin and Day comes off for Wilfort.

Royston are attacking in numbers with the long ball over the top but Hitchin dealt with it each time.
It was Thompson to the rescue! A long ball over the top sent a number of Royston players through on goal. The shot beats Thompson but she somehow caught the ball on the line! One last Hitchin attack and it was Gash who crossed the ball and it falls perfectly to Chaffey who glances the header across the goal and somehow the keeper catches. The referee blows full time!

Another day where the ladies worked hard for the shirt they wear. A hard fought battle from every single player on the field today and a well-earned point for the ladies. We go again next week against Biggleswade United Ladies at Offley Recreation Ground, 13:30 kick off, in the Chris Renshaw Cup Quarter Final!

BY CALLUM ELLIS

HITCHIN TOWN UNDER 19’S
The Academy team were beaten 5-3 By Staines on Wednesday. Next Wednesday they travel to Windsor.

EJA TEAM NEWS
Three of our four EJA teams were in action at the weekend.

The U18s were at home to Coggeshall Town and took all three points from their fixture with a 4-1 win to continue their progress up the U18 Brown Division table. Goal scorers were Tommy Reynolds, Shaun Dowler, Liam Campion and Ant Nygro.

Our U13s were also in league action and shared the points in their derby game against Stotfold in the U13 Blue Division with a 1-1 draw, Sol Campbell scoring for us (no, not the Sol Campbell once of Spurs and Arsenal and now Macclesfield Town manager!).

Finally, our U14s were in cup action and made it through to the U14 EJA Challenge Cup semi finals with a well earned 3-0 win at home to Bishops Stortford with Teague Gardiner scoring a brace and Richard Kusorgbor netting the third.

The only fixture this weekend for our EJA teams is a home league match on Sunday when our U14s take on Cheshunt FC in the U14 Brown Division at Ickleford Sports & Recreation Club, kickoff 11am.

If you can get along to support the boys the club bar will be open and serving bacon rolls and pulling pints!

BY NICK CARR

MANAGER’S NOTES WITH MARK BURKE

STRATFORD
I thought that Saturday’s performance against Stratford was one of our most impressive of the season. It saw us defend resolutely when required and also look very dangerous in attack.

It was very satisfying to win our third match against teams in the top five and it shows we are heading in the right direction. I am particularly pleased to see that the hard work ethos that stood us in such good stead in recent seasons is returning and this can only be a very positive thing.

All in all it was a perfect day – perfect weather, perfect result, entertaining football and an excellent crowd.

LETCHWORTH GARDEN CITY EAGLES
This was a good run out for the squad and a competitive match. I was able to give certain players much needed game time and Jay Bird made his first start for us. The hat trick Harry Draper scored can only help his confidence. I like to play these game as I think it is important to have a good relationship with our local clubs.

RUSHALL OLYMPIC
Rushall come to Top Field after being very unfortunate to lose in the last minute at league leaders Kettering last Saturday. We beat them away in a very tight game and I am sure it will be another tight encounter tomorrow. I think it will be a hard fought game but our confidence is high and the squad atmosphere is buoyant but there will be no complacency.

I hope as many people as possible take advantage of the pay what you want game and it would be great to see a bumper attendance with many family groups attending.

TAMWORTH
Tamworth are in good form and I am sure it will be another tough game. When we went to Tamworth it was one of those games where we were the wrong side of those fine margins that determine the outcome. Had we have scored the early penalty we could have gone on to win the match. However we did not seize this opportunity and were beaten.

ROY IZZARD