Hitchin Town: Managers notes and comprehensive round-up
PUBLISHED: 15:07 01 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:16 01 December 2017
Read CometSport’s comprehensive Hitchin Town round-up including managers notes from Mark Burke as well as fixture news, ladies football and youths
MANAGER’S NOTES WITH MARK BURKE
I was delighted to come away with the win at Frome after the disappointing defeat at Hereford last week. We arrived with the bare bones of a team due to injuries and suspension. I had to recall Kieran Barnes from Stotfold to go on the bench along with a far from fully fit Trey Charles and Academy player Desejado Da Silva.
The first half saw us start off really well and we deserved the lead. We went on to create a number of chances and had we have gone in 3-0 ahead at half time we would have been in an excellent position. However conceding a penalty on the stroke of half time let Frome back in to the game which was very frustrating.
We were managing the game very well in the second half and when they had a player sent off we should have gone on and punished Frome further by making use of the extra man. But credit to Frome who knew they were in a no lose situation and threw caution to the wind and took the game to us. Despite having ten men they worked really hard and pressed us in to our own half. I was unhappy with our defending as they fought back to 3-3 but fortunately we had our own response scoring almost immediately after their equaliser. We then saw the game out to gain a vital three points.
In the first half I thought we were a little bit patchy in our approach play and lacked quality in the final third of the pitch. I was disappointed to concede a penalty which allowed St Ives to take the initiative in the game.
We responded well in the second half and gained a cast iron penalty of our own which allowed us to draw level. Credit to St Ives who then worked extremely hard to stop us from scoring. I felt we did not make the pitch big enough and were making the wrong decisions with our passing.
I was relieved when we finally got the second goal from a corner and the third goal was the icing on the cake. I did have some sympathy for St Ives who gave their all.
Finally I would like to thank the large number of Hitchin supporters who travelled on such a bitterly cold evening.
I have told the players in no uncertain terms that I will not accept any complacency in the match against Dunstable. Despite their league position they have shown true fighting spirit and my scout told me they were unlucky to lose to Tiverton last Saturday and never threw the towel in. So I have told the players to be prepared for a battle and it will be up to us to perform on the day.
It will be good to play at Top Field again after four weeks away and I would like to see a good crowd as we enter an important phase of the season.
Stortford have a potent strike force which we will be wary of. As holders of the Herts Senior Cup I would like to retain the trophy and if we can win on Monday we would have an attractive home quarter final against Boreham Wood or Stevenage. This will be our third meeting with Stortford this season so the two teams will know a lot about each other and another close game is likely.
Saturday home to Dunstable league kick off 3.00pm.
Monday home to Bishops Stortford Herts Senior Cup kick off 7.45pm.
HITCHIN TOWN LADIES FC
Report by Callum Ellis
Sunday, November 26 Hitchin take on rivals Letchworth Garden City.
Hitchin piled on the pressure early on and went one up with McNamara scoring. Letchworth responded well by pressing the Canaries and switching the play.
Some creative work from Chaffey saw her link up with McNamara, releasing her through a gap only for the flag to be raised for offside. Letchworth equalised before the break when their striker poked a shot past Friel and into an empty net. It was sad to see her taken off with a head injury after a collision with our keeper’s shoulder. However despite her head injury she did feature in the last twenty of the second half.
Hitchin started the second half well pressing for an equaliser as the game heated up.
Letchworth grabbed the winner late on. However Hitchin did fight back and many free kicks were given in their favour but they ran out of time.
On Sunday 10 December 2017 they are at home to Garston in the league at Swinburne Recreational Ground, Swinburne Avenue, Hitchin kick off 2.00pm.
HITCHIN TOWN UNDER 18’S
The Academy side drew 2-2 with Dorking Wanderers on Wednesday. They do not have another game until the new year when they entertain Leatherhead on Wednesday 3 January.
HOME SWEET HOME
Hitchin at long last return to Top Field on Saturday after a four week absence. The last home game was on Saturday, November 4 and since then there have been five consecutive away games at Kings Langley, Chesham, Hereford, Frome and St Ives. Looking through the records the last time Hitchin had five consecutive away games was in the 1994-95 season when it happened twice but on each occasion the gap between home games was fewer than four weeks.
From Tuesday 1 November 1994 the club were away to Tooting, Hayes, Hereford, Harrow and Walton before playing the Hereford replay on Tuesday 22 November.
Then from Tuesday 28 March they were away to Slough, Watford, Bromley, Marlow and Dulwich before playing Harrow on Tuesday 11 April. So the time away from Top Field has been quite exceptional and I hope there is a big crowd on Saturday as all supporters must have been having withdrawal symptoms!
HERTS SENIOR CUP
The winners of our Herts Senior Cup tie on Monday will be at home to Boreham Wood or Stevenage in the quarter final. They play their game on Tuesday 5 December kick off 7.45pm.
BIGFREEBET CUP DRAW
The draw for the third round of the BigFreeBet Cup has been made. Hitchin will travel to AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Tuesday 9 January 2018.
Weymouth v Larkhall Ath
Frome Town v Taunton Town
AFC Rushden & Diamonds v Hitchin Town
Biggleswade Town v Kempston Rovers
Basingstoke Town v Marlow
Egham Town v Hayes & Yeading
Cinderford Town v Redditch Utd
Didcot Town v Chesham Utd
Hitchin are pleased to announce a new signing. Jimmy Hartley is a 22 year old winger/striker who made 19 appearances for St Ives this season (including seven as substitute) scoring seven goals including the opener in the 2-2 draw at Top Field in September. He recently left due to the distance he was having to travel to St Ives.
Kavan Cotter and Trey Charles are now fully fit and available for selection.
Jay Dowie missed the St Ives game due to flu. His knee injury is improving and will face a fitness test on Saturday.
Jack Green has tonsillitis and will be assessed on Saturday.
Brett Donnelly would have missed the Dunstable game through a one match suspension but picked up a hamstring injury at St Ives and will now be out for at least two weeks.