This is the last weekly bulletin of the season. I would like to thank Callum Ellis for providing news and reports on Hitchin Town Ladies FC as well as Nick Carr who did the same for the EJA teams. Stewart Curtis has been responsible for getting the bulletin on to our social media sites and what a great job he has done. I would also like to thank Mark Burke for letting me interview him every week regardless of results. I think his manager’s notes are honest and hopefully insightful for supporters as he explains systems and tactics. It is not easy to front up in the middle of a losing run but Mark never hid when I am sure the last thing he wanted was for me to phone him.
I hope the weekly bulletin keeps you informed about what is going on at the club and I do try to be as open as possible. The bulletin will return pre-season but rest assured I will keep you all informed of any news items until then including news on fixtures and players. I will also be doing an article looking back on the 2018/19 season and asking was it good or bad.
We hold our annual presentation night at Canary Club on Friday 3 May with a 7.30pm start. It is open to all supporters with no admission charge.
You will have seen in the news section that Isaac has been chose in a 16 man squad to represent England C against Estonia U23 at Tallinn on Wednesday 5 June. This is a great honour for Isaac and the club and is a fitting reward for his performances throughout the season. He is the first Hitchin player to receive an England C call-up so many congratulations to Isaac.
On behalf of the club I sent an email to Stuart Hammonds congratulating Luton Town on their promotion to the Championship. We have a special relationship with Luton and Stuart replied to me that Luton value our relationship too. Their promotion was well deserved and long may we continue to keep our close relationship with them.
The end of season renovation work started on the pitch this week—there is never any rest period!
EJA UPDATE WITH NICK CARR
Our U14s finished their season with a 3-2 defeat against local rivals Biggleswade Town in what was a very entertaining and enjoyable game. The boys led 1-0 through a long range effort from Ryan Samiputa that found the corner of the net only to be pegged back before half time. We quickly took the lead again in the second half through Teague Gardiner before succumbing to two late goals after the boys tired in the latter stages, which was no surprise given the long season they’ve had.
The U16s finished their season with a 2-2 draw at Cheshunt and the U18s also drew 2-2 with Jack Holmes and Steve Obeng scoring against Peterborough Sports.
The U18s are our only team in action this weekend when they take on Garston Boys in the final of the Hertfordshire FA County Cup. This is a fantastic achievement for the squad which is made up mostly of U17s. The match kicks off at the County Ground in Letchworth at 2:30pm. Get along and cheer the boys on if you can.
HITCHIN TOWN LADIES FC FROM CALLUM ELLIS
Hitchin Town Ladies played on Sunday 28th April 2019 against Letchworth Garden City Eagles Ladies in what was a big promotion clash. Whoever got the three points would secure promotion to Division One. Hitchin started the game a point behind Letchworth and it was always going to be a fight till the end. Hitchin started on the front foot putting early pressure on the Letchworth goal and got the opener within four minutes when a Chaffey free kick hit the cross bar and Cain-Murnane was there to tap in the rebound.
There was a controversial decision when the Letchworth keeper came running out of the box and handled the ball but the referee only showed a yellow card. Chaffey doubled Hitchin’s lead in the twenty-sixth minute tucking the ball into the top corner.
After half time Letchworth started to pressure Hitchin. The next goal was going to be crucial and it was Hitchin captain Chaffey who slotted in from Day’s pass to make it 3-0. The final whistle went and it was Hitchin who took the three points which cemented 2nd place and ensured promotion to Division One of the Beds & Herts Women’s League.
We have one final game this season and it is away to Wheathampstead Wanderers Ladies at 14:00. Venue is Marford Road Playing Fields, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, AL4 8AY’.
MANAGER’S NOTES WITH MARK BURKE
We finished what was a roller coaster season by beating Banbury away in the league and Hemel Hempstead at home in the Herts Charity Cup final.
We not only had to do battle with Banbury but also the atrocious windy conditions that made playing football so difficult. The conditions were in Banbury’s favour in the first half and we conceded a well worked goal. I thought we responded well to this setback and Isaac Galliford scored a fabulous goal to level the scores.
The second half saw us on the front foot aided by the wind and I was pleased we kept the ball on the ground and did not force the play. We defended well against early Banbury pressure and eventually got on top and began creating chances of our own. We scored a late winner after some neat football of our own.
I would like to pay tribute to the large away following at Banbury who despite disappointing recent results gave us great support.
We probably saved one of our best performances of the season until the last day as despite being under strength we thoroughly deserved our victory over higher league Hemel Hempstead in the Herts Charity Cup final. It is always nice to finish the season with silverware once again and this was our eighth final in the last six seasons. It was an impressive energetic and hard working performance and the scoreline did not flatter us.
We can now recharge our batteries for the new season on a high.
BY ROY IZZARD