Hitchin Town got ready for their derby trip to Royston Town in almost the perfect manner - with four points from a possible six against the division's FA Cup heroes.

The Canaries go to Garden Walk on Saturday for a 1.30pm kick-off against their nearest rivals.

And they will fancy adding to their improved form of one defeat in the last five Southern League Premier Division Central games.

Their last two outings both took place at Top Field and started with another early kick-off, the 2pm start against Alvechurch yielding a 2-1 success.

It got off to a fantastic start with a free header in the first minute from Steve Cawley putting them ahead.

But the Church, set to play Forest Green Rovers in round two of the FA Cup on Saturday week, responded well.

And after Jamie Willetts had hit the bar, Jediael Abbey sent a free-kick straight into the net for the equaliser.

Diogo Freitas Gouveia hit what would turn out to be the winner eight minutes before half-time.

And Hitchin stood firm against some Alvechurch pressure after the break with the only downside being a red card after two bookings for Lewis Barker.

He was still available two days later though for the visit of Coalville Town, conquerors of Notts County on their way to a first-round defeat at Charlton Athletic in round one of the FA Cup.

And he picked up another booking in a pulsating and fiery game that ended in a 2-2 draw.

Both sides were less than enamoured with the referee at times but that just added to the spice.

Coalville took the lead through Timothy Berridge on seven minutes but Freitas Gouveia equalised nine minutes into the second half.

Hitchin then had a goal ruled out for offside before a penalty restored Coalville's lead with only 16 minutes to go.

Another penalty shout went begging for the visitors before Brad Bell levelled with an effort from the edge of the box.

Cautions littered the final moments and visiting manager Adam Stevens was sent off after the final whistle.

But when the dust had settled, Hitchin had claimed another valuable point to move them 10th in the standings.