Gallery: Hitchin's perfect start comes to an end
Hitchin Town 1 Chesham United 2 HITCHIN Town's 100 per cent record to the new league season came to an end on Saturday in a terrific encounter between what could prove to be the two best teams in the Zamaretto Midlands Division. A wise man once said that
Hitchin Town 1 Chesham United 2
HITCHIN Town's 100 per cent record to the new league season came to an end on Saturday in a terrific encounter between what could prove to be the two best teams in the Zamaretto Midlands Division.
A wise man once said that in a game of two halves you would prefer to have the better of the second and that is exactly what Chesham had on Saturday, scoring the winner just minute before the final whistle.
Hitchin definitely had the best of the first half and took the lead early through Jamie Arlick, a goal which seemed to rock the visitors who were cut apart by Hitchin's front pairing of Arlick and Jeff Hammond on more than one occasion.
But the Canaries were dealt a blow not long after the second half began when Sam Ledger converted a Danny Talbot free kick, and from then on the home side lost their composure and were often outplayed as they were unable to stop their visitors from taking all three points with a 90th minute Steve Obeng goal.
Hitchin began the game strongly and went close after five minutes when Mark Smith headed wide, but they hit the back of the net six minutes later in a goal made by a lively Hammond.
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In the programme for the match, Hammond had said he was looking to net 31 times this season but it was he who was provider on this occasion as he skipped over a challenge just inside the Chesham half and ran towards the Chesham box before squaring a pass to Arlick who swung his right foot at it to put it past the 'keeper.
The lead was close to being cancelled out moments later when Talbot hit a free kick at the Hitchin goal only for Bennett to pull off a spectacular stop as he tipped the ball over the crossbar.
Arlick almost doubled his tally for the day but saw his shot saved low by a rather impressive Richard Hayward in the Chesham goal and Hammond also had a chance after jinking past a defender only to shoot wide.
Hammond was also denied on the stroke of half time by Hayward after he had ran onto a long ball, but between these two efforts Leon Archer had showed that Chesham were very much in the game by hitting the woodwork twice.
Although not able to find an equaliser in the first period, Chesham came out in the second half and put in the best 45 minutes any team has against Hitchin this season.
They levelled on 53 minutes when Talbot's free kick on the left was headed home by Ledger and for the next 15 minutes Hitchin seemed unable to string two passes together as the visitors worked the ball around and went close on a number of occasions.
After regrouping Hitchin did go close when Arlick had a header tipped over the bar on 74 minutes and Gentle-King's volley going wide from the resulting corner, but Chesham looked the more likely and on 88 minutes right back John Kirioku forced a fine save out of Bennett before Obeng got the winner a minute later.
Hitchin: Bennett, Fontenelle, Grinham (Payne, 45), Williams, Smith, Gilbert, Lewis, Hammond, Arlick, Velandia (Gentle-King, 66), Burke (Lee, 54).