May 24 2013 Latest news:
Monday, March 12, 2012
Canaries boss Carl Williams looking for an improvement following defeat to Swindon
Hitchin Town 0 Swindon Supermarine 1
Evo-Stik Southern Premier
How often has this happened? Good displays against promotion chasers and then a flat, dull and ineffective performance against a struggling team.
It’s an old, old Hitchin problem and after flirting with safety, Canaries fans are now getting out the slide rule to calculate how many points are needed to secure a Premier Division place for next season.
Hitchin dominated, but just couldn’t find the right shooting boots and for Swindon it was a case of one shot, one goal, three points.
The first half was all Hitchin, but a combination of poor finishing and stout defending prevented the Canaries from opening the scoring. John Frendo had a number of half-chances, notably when he received Tom Pepper’s pass from the byline and saw a tame shot saved by Ashley Harrison.
Just before the interval, Frendo shot into the side-netting from close range.
Hitchin’s best supply line came from full-back Tony Fontenelle, whose crosses caused problems for the Swindon defence, and it was from one of these that Luke Gregson brought a good save out of Harrison with a header.
It was a similar tale in the second period. Ieuan Lewis struck a post after shooting from an acute angle, and the same player then created a golden opportunity for Inih Effiong when he won a challenge and slipped the ball through to the tall front man, who skipped past a challenge and saw his shot pushed away from danger by Harrison.
Another Lewis cross invited Effiong to finish from six yards, but he failed to connect and the ball rolled away from goal.
As the game started to edge towards its close, Swindon stunned the home crowd with the winning goal. Bradley Gray’s shot from 20 yards took a deflection on its way past Martin Bennett.
It was cruel, but it gave Swindon some hope in their bid to stave off relegation whilst at the same time it posed questions of Hitchin.
Canaries manager Carl Williams was disappointed with his team’s display, but remains confident Hitchin will not get sucked into a battle for Premier Divison survival.
“This was a flat performance, especially in the first half when the game seemed so low-key and we showed little in the way of energy. But in the second period, we asked more questions of Swindon,” said Williams.
“You have to take your chances at this level. They had one and took it, we were very sloppy.”
Williams has told his players that they have to be more consistent. “One week we take on Brackley and Stourbridge, the next we lose to Swindon or an Evesham. We cannot pick and choose when we turn up.”
Now, he has to regroup for a tough trip to Chippenham. “They are a decent side, but on our day so are we. We have to make sure it is the Hitchin that beat Brackley that we take to Chippenham. Today, we were 50 per cent below our best,” said Williams.
Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, Pepper, Stewart, Gilbert, Donnelly, Lewis, Gregson, Effiong (Morgan 82), Frendo, Burke. Subs not used: Pedrycz, King, Edgerley.
*Elsewhere in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Arlesey Town 3-0 away to Cirencester Town.
Derek Brown gave the away side a half-time lead when he netted on 38 minutes before Jordan Patrick and Chris Dillon both scored in the second half to ensure the Blues came away with all three points from Gloucestershire.