A Bridge over troubled waters

Hitchin Town round-up NEIL JENSEN reports Could their 3-2 win at Bashley on Tuesday night, at long last, be the catalyst for the great Hitchin revival? That was the question on everyone s mind as the Canaries pulled off a memorable win against a team prev

Hitchin Town round-up

NEIL JENSEN reports

Could their 3-2 win at Bashley on Tuesday night, at long last, be the catalyst for the great Hitchin revival?

That was the question on everyone's mind as the Canaries pulled off a memorable win against a team previously unbeaten at home.


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Hitchin even gave Bashley an early two-goal lead but still came back to win, against all the odds.

With Bedford losing, the gap between Darran Hay's side and their local rivals is down to six points.

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It looked like the same old story, however, as Bashley went two-goals up inside five minutes. The unmarked Pete Castle headed the first after three minute and two minutes later, Jeremy Tarr ran through and scored with ease.

But Hitchin, perhaps surprisingly given recent displays, came back with vigour and in the 21st minute gave themselves a chance of recovery.

Mark Bridge, recalled to the side after a lengthy lay-off, crossed to the far post and Ricky Miller shot home.

Bridge had an opportunity himself shortly after the goal, set clear by Mark Ducket, but the chance was missed.

Hitchin started the second half well with a Ducket free-kick testing goalkeeper Dave Elm. Seconds later, Ducket had another effort saved by Elm.

Hitchin stunned the Bashley crowd with an equaliser after 67 minutes, David Deeney netting direct from a corner.

Two minutes later, the Canaries had a golden chance of going ahead when a Ducket corner was handled by Bashley central defender Phil Archbold. He was shown the red card and Deeney missed from the penalty spot.

In the 74th minute, Hitchin went ahead when a cross by Ducket was turned into the net by Bashley's Paul Gazzard. It proved to be the winner.

For the first time in weeks, manager Hay was sporting a huge grin and the small band of Hitchin fans had something to talk about on the long journey home. Now, at least, there is hope.

Canaries: Parr, Deeney, Mountford, Williams, Gilbert, Stevenson, Lewis, Olaleye (Beale 89m), Miller (Donnelly 66m), Bridge (Mills 73m), Ducket.

n Such was the lack of excitement at the New Lawn, rented home of Gloucester City, that even the sheep munching away on Cotswold grass turned their back on Saturday's 2-0 defeat.

It was not a happy afternoon for Hitchin either, who looked like lost sheep in the green and pleasant land that is the west country.

Gloucester City were no big bad wolves, either, or should we say tigers. But they did enough to beat the Canaries with a degree of comfort.

It took just three minutes for Gloucester to open the scoring.

Tom Webb played Jack Pitcher in and he had the simple task of stroking the ball into the net.

The 'home' side had ample chances to build up a healthy lead, Will Morford being denied by Ricky Perks, Pitcher headed past the post and then the same player went close when he turned and shot wide.

It did not get any better for Hitchin, and in the 47th minute, Jamie Turley, recently acquired from Wycombe, cleared off the line with virtually his first kick after coming on as a half-time substitute.

In the 57th minute, Perks brought down Morford and a penalty was awarded.

The kick was initially taken by Rob Mustoe, but Perks blocked his effort. The referee demanded the kick was retaken and this time, Lee Smith scored.

The veteran Adie Harris missed a golden chance to extend Gloucester's lead and generally, the ball was mostly in the Hitchin half.

Late on, a Dean Gilbert header went close to reducing the arrears, but it was another afternoon when Hitchin's lack of firepower was a major contribution to their downfall.

Canaries: Perks, Pepper (Turley 46m), Ducket, Williams, Gilbert, Stevenson, Beale, Deeney, Donnelly (Mountford 46m), Lewis, Mills (Miller 67m).

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