Hitchin Town round-up: Mark Burke’s managerial notes and all your latest Top Field news

PUBLISHED: 15:47 12 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:47 12 January 2018

Top Field, home of Hitchin Town FC. Credit @laythy29

Top Field, home of Hitchin Town FC. Credit @laythy29

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For the latest news on Hitchin Town including Mark Burke’s manager’s notes read CometSport’s extensive round-up...

MANAGER’S NOTES WITH MARK BURKE

BANBURY

I was very disappointed to lose this game by the odd goal. I felt we played well in the first half and dominated the game but we were unable to take any of the half chances that came our way and were ultimately punished. The Banbury goal was poorly defended and it knocked us out of our stride and gave them the initiative. We were given a lifeline with the sending off and this led to a shift in the play. We created our best chances of the game but unfortunately did not show the same clinical finishing as last week. Other results meant this defeat was not as costly as it might have been but we must return to winning ways to cement our place in the top ten and to push for a play off position.

AFC RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS

I was delighted with the result which saw us in to the quarter finals of the League Cup. The performance was very pleasing considering how our resources were so stretched with a number of players unable to play. Players came in who were short of match fitness and on a difficult surface played really well.

We started the game very much on the front foot and created a number of chances in the first half. The second half was more difficult and I thought we defended very well. Rushden showed why they are top of the table and on a long unbeaten run and it was a good achievement to get a clean sheet.

BIGGLESWADE TOWN

I am looking forward to our local derby with Biggleswade Town on Saturday where we will be looking to get our League form back on track after the defeat at Banbury. I expect a close, tough match and there is the added spice of a number of players having played for both sides. We will be seeking revenge for our defeat in August but Chris Nunn will no doubt have his players fired up for this return fixture. I hope the supporters continue to get behind the team and turn up in good numbers. As I often say we are grateful to our supporters who provide such good backing home and away and the players want to reward their loyalty.

PLAYER NEWS

Lewis Rolfe has completed his suspension and is available for the Biggleswade game.

Charlie Smith is available for the Biggleswade game.

Connor Vincent, Lucas Kirkpatrick and Brett Donnelly will face late fitness tests for the Biggleswade game.

Kavan Cotter has been recalled by Luton and will not be available for the Biggleswade game.

FIXTURE

Saturday 13 January at Top Field against Biggleswade Town, kick off 3.00pm.

There is no midweek fixture.

HITCHIN TOWN UNDER 19S

The Academy team did not have a fixture this week. Next Wednesday 17 January they are at home to Sutton United at the Arena kick off 1.30pm.

HERTS SENIOR CUP

The semi-final line up is as follows.

Hitchin Town or Boreham Wood v Kings Langley

Hoddesdon Town v Hertford Town or Royston Town

BIGFREEBET CHALLENGE CUP

The quarter finals are due to be played week commencing 29 January and the draw is due to take place next week.

The prize money is as follows.

Quarter final losers £500

Semi final losers £1,000

Runners up £2,000

Winners £4,000

TALES OF THE TOWN

Neil Jensen’s book is continuing to sell very well. You can buy a copy at tomorrow’s home game from the supporters club shop or online at https://hitchintownfc.ktckts.com/merchandise/ht1718mtt/tales-of-the-town.

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The three-day Knebworth Winter Festival arrives at Knebworth House for the first time from Friday, November 9 to Sunday, November 11. The winter shopping experience will include a food and Christmas market hosting a collection of some of the best independent produce traders, pop-up shops selling festive gifts, and stalls with a focus on craft and design. If you feel peckish, delicious delicacies will be served up by street food vendors from around the country in the food village. Grown ups can also enjoy seasonal cocktails, spiced mulled wine, artisan ciders and local craft beers in the Apres Ski Lodge, where non-alcoholic beverages and a fully stocked bar will be available. After all that eating and drinking, it’s time to get merry and have a good laugh at the festival’s evening stand-up comedy shows. A festival spokesperson said: “We are very excited to announce the launch of Winter Festival this year at Knebworth House. “Christmas is such a magical time for everyone and we wanted to bring together all the exciting elements of the festive period under one roof. “We feel very fortunate to have the beautiful Knebworth as our backdrop for this festival extravaganza and we are really looking forward to showcasing some incredible shopping, food and entertainment in this idyllic location.” For youngsters, there will be an enchanted Christmas Garden in the beautiful grounds of Knebworth House, leading to Santa’s Grotto. The immersive enchanted garden and interactive Father Christmas experience requires an upgraded ticket. To keep older visitors entertained, the Feature Stage will be sharing top shopping, entertaining and lifestyle tips, the latest gadget demos, and ideas on how to celebrate the winter season with interactive Christmas cooking demos from celebrity chefs, whisky tasting with expert Dave Broom, and expert panel discussions. There will be a special appearance for the little ones from Bjorn the animatronic polar bear, too. For those looking for a few festive laughs later in the day, the Knebworth Winter Comedy Festival line-up has been announced. The comedy fest will feature performances over the weekend from the likes of Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert, Taskmaster host Greg Davies, Britain’s Got Talent finalist Daliso Chaponda, the Improv Allstars, Angela Barnes, Jen Brister, and the aptly named Jarred Christmas. “We are thrilled and delighted to welcome Rhod Gilbert and Greg Davies to perform at our first Winter Festival,” added the spokesperson. “And with the amazing, original and entertaining activities for young people, we’re hoping everyone will leave the festival with a huge smile on their face and immersed in the festive spirit.” The evening comedy shows require a separate ticket. Tickets to the comedy festival will allow you access to the Winter Festival from 3pm, where you can browse the Christmas shopping emporium, sample epicurean street food delights in the food village, which will also be home to the Apres Ski Lodge, complete with its faux fur rugs and open log fires. • For more on the Knebworth Winter Festival and to buy tickets, visit knebworthwinterfestival.com

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Christmas will come early to Knebworth this year at a magical new event featuring shopping, food and drink, comedy and festive entertainment for all the family.

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