Hitchin Town boss Mark Burke delighted with Arsenal win

PUBLISHED: 14:21 27 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:39 27 July 2017

A dramtatic sunset at Top Field as Arsenal's Taff Moore battles for the ball. Picture Peter Else

A dramtatic sunset at Top Field as Arsenal's Taff Moore battles for the ball. Picture Peter Else

else.p@ntlworld.com

Hitchin Town manager Mark Burke was delighted with his side’s 2-1 win over an Arsenal XI at Top Field.

Arsenal's Taff Moore surges forward at Top Field. Picture: Peter Else Arsenal's Taff Moore surges forward at Top Field. Picture: Peter Else

Goals from Liam Brooks and Dan Webb – either side of a Jordi Osei-Tutu equaliser – secured an impressive win for the Canaries over a young Gunners side.

With the Canaries set to play Wealdstone in a friendly at Top Field on Saturday, then St Albans in the Herts Charity Cup on the Tuesday, before the season kicks-off on Saturday, August 12 in South Wales against Methyr Town Burke’s side are revving up nicely.

Speaking after Tuesday’s impressive win he said: “I’m delighted with the performance tonight and for me, it was all positives,

“We tried to move the ball quickly, we got it down and played, we restricted their chances, we were solid and organised – which is what I want us to be and what we need to be.”

With the first game of the Evo-Stik Southern Premier season fast approaching, Burke believes a win against a good Arsenal side – including highly-rated youngsters Vlad Dragomir and Nathan Tormey – will help build his teams confidence.

“It’s more about the performances for me but it’s nice to win as it gets the confidence up,” he said.

“It’s good to beat a strong Arsenal team and for our boys to be able to say they’ve beaten a professional team is brilliant.”

The Canaries boss made use of his full squad on Wednesday night, making eleven substitutions during the second-half, giving run outs to new signings Trey Charles and Elliot Bailey.

Burke – taking charge for his fifth season at Top Field – was full of praise for every player involved, but is wary of keeping his big squad happy.

He added: “I’m pleased with everybody, the whole squad not just the team that started. Every player came on and put a shift in.

“I’ve got plenty of players. It’s a big squad, maybe a little too big. It’s going to be tough to manage it. I’m going to have to find a way to keep everyone happy because it’s important to have a lot of depth for the new season.”

The Hitchin squad also escaped the match relatively unscathed and Burke says his team are moving in the right direction ahead of the season opener at Merthyr.

“Josh Bickerstaff’s knee is a little bit sore and Michael Johnson has got a problem with his stomach. It’s not muscular, it’s due to illness.

“That’s why he had to come off in a hurry. Apart from those two, everyone else is fine.

“We are looking forward to going again on Saturday against Wealdstone and we are going in the right direction for the new season.”

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