A welcome three points for Canaries

Hitchin Town 1 Mangotsfield United 0 MARCUS CRAWLEY reports The end justified the means for the Canaries in this dour encounter. This was a welcome three points for Darren Salton s spluttering side after three consecutive BGB Southern Premier League defea

Hitchin Town 1 Mangotsfield United 0

MARCUS CRAWLEY reports

The end justified the means for the Canaries in this dour encounter.

This was a welcome three points for Darren Salton's spluttering side after three consecutive BGB Southern Premier League defeats.


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In fact, it was only their second win in eight matches in 2007, a run which has seen them fall down the table but still within touching distance of the play-offs.

A goal from ace predator Chris Dillon in the 53rd minute will have done wonders for morale in a game of precious few opportunities.

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On a heavy pitch after all the recent bad weather, Mangotsfield were clearly the brighter side in the opening 45 minutes as Hitchin struggled badly.

Michael Parkin, making his first start in goal since October 3 in place of the suspended Rob Beckwith, was by far the busier of the two keepers.

He had an initial scare when Alex Ball beat him to a Jon French cross but no harm was done.

Parkin was exemplary in the remainder of the afternoon and he comfortably dealt with efforts by Darren Hawkins and French as the half unfolded.

There was a further alarm minutes before the break when Aaron Cornwall crumbled under a challenge from Scott Cretton in the penalty area but vehement penalty appeals were ignored.

Hitchin showed more intent on the restart and took less than eight minutes to go ahead.

A Carl Williams corner was headed down by Cretton and Dillon beat keeper Steve Book to the loose ball.

This was Hitchin's first serious effort of the game and prompted Mangotsfield into a sustained response.

The new (teenager Scott Orphanou) and the old (the vastly more experienced Adam Parker) were introduced for Josh Sozzo and Daniel French respectively as Hitchin sought the comfort of a second goal.

This was not forthcoming as Book was quickly out of his area to clear from Dillon, David Deeney's cross-shot flew over while terrier-like Orphanou tried his luck from distance without success.

Mangotsfield probably felt aggrieved to be behind and their mood was not helped by a tame David Seal cross-shot when he was well placed, Rob Miller's sliding block averting any potential danger.

In added time - which went on for an amazing six minutes - Seal's free-kick pierced the Hitchin wall but Parkin watched it dribble wide of his goal.

Never a classic, it was a useful filip before the visit of league leaders Bath City this Saturday.

Canaries: Parkin, Childs, Miller, Cretton, Folds, Lamacraft, Williams, Deeney (Gentle-King 90m), Dillon, Sozzo (Orphanou 66m), French.

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