Bright end to a mixed campaign
Hitchin Town 1 Halesowen Town 0 MARCUS CRAWLEY reports Victory on the final day ensured a top half of the table finish for the Canaries. A brighter April saw Hitchin finish their mixed campaign with 13 points out of a possible 15 following a wretched post
Hitchin Town 1 Halesowen Town 0
MARCUS CRAWLEY reports
Victory on the final day ensured a top half of the table finish for the Canaries.
A brighter April saw Hitchin finish their mixed campaign with 13 points out of a possible 15 following a wretched post-Christmas period.
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In play-off contention at the turn of the year, the Canaries have plummeted down the table and only their recent impressive run has steadied the ship.
This Top Field success came on the back of a late goal from substitute Adam Cunnington and ended the play-off hopes of Halesowen.
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Strong travelling support swelled the crowd to 454 - the second best of the entire season.
Hitchin's opportunities were few and far between after Martin Standen fired into the side netting early on.
Goalkeeper Michael Parkin had a mixed afternoon, interspersing some top-class saves with a couple of howlers.
Lance Gentle-King rescued him first after the keeper completely missed his clearance kick.
But Parkin then saved really well from former Birmingham striker Paul Devlin and was indebted to Adam Scanlon for clearing off the line from a header from an Halesowen corner.
The keeper then produced an even better save to deny Simon Forsdick to ensure the teams went in level.
After the break, Parkin excellently kept out Jermaine Palmer's header following a free-kick.
Midway through the half, he was quickly out of his goal to block Halesowen sub Junior Brown as the pressure mounted from the visitors.
Parkin then showed his other side by rushing out of his area before heading weakly.
Forsdick picked the ball up 30 yards out but he could only lob on to the roof of the net.
Maximum points would have secured a play-off spot for Halesowen but their hopes were dashed in the 82nd minute.
Cunnington had been on for less than four minutes when he headed on a ball from Mark Ducket and supplied a cool finish beyond James Dormand.
Halesowen never really looked like recovering as Hitchin collected their fourth win in five games over the last fortnight.
Canaries: Parkin, Deeney, A Scanlon, Gentle-King, Frater, Lamacraft, Charles (Orphanou 49m), Stevenson, Standen (Cunnington 79m), Jaggard, Ducket.
* Hitchin's presentation night is on Friday, May 18, at Top Field. Call Terry Barratt on 07836 558727 or 01462 432002 for further details.