'Everything went right' as Hitchin Town enjoy pre-season success at Harpenden

Harpenden V Hitchin - Hitchin Town celebrate.Picture: Karyn Haddon

Callum Stead celebrates his first goal in Hitchin Town's win at Harpenden. - Credit: KARYN HADDON

Manager Mark Burke declared himself hugely contented after Hitchin Town showed their class in their latest pre-season fixture.

The Canaries' busy run in July continued with a 4-0 win at Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division side Harpenden Town.

They only led 1-0 at the break but eventually the difference in levels between the two became evident with the returning Callum Stead getting three of them and Rio Dasilva one.

"Everything went right today," Burke said. "There is a good chance it could be similar temperatures on August 14 and we have to get used to playing in them. 

"I was really pleased with the performance and happy with the fitness levels. 

"We were missing a few and we were a bit stretched. Ideally I’d have liked two teams but it worked out in the end.

"Callum has been brilliant. He came on earlier than we wanted as he has been off for three weeks although you wouldn’t have thought so. 

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"He was so sharp and took his goals well."

Stevenage's pre-season plans have hit a snag though after another COVID-19 outbreak forced their game with Ipswich Town on Saturday to be cancelled.

The club has also had to stop their U18 activities for a week after the "significant outbreak" last week which affected players and staff

Boro, who have "stepped up its stringent protocols further and will continue to monitor all players and staff in order to prevent further disruption", are still hopeful that the marquee home matches against Crystal Palace on Friday and Watford on Tuesday will go ahead as planned.

The last two games have both finished 1-0, a defeat on Saturday at Wycombe Wanderers behind closed doors following a win at St Albans City.

Speaking after that game, boss Alex Revell said: "We were dominant in the first half. We asked them to move the ball quicker than we did [against Hitchin] and we asked them to learn from what we have been doing on the training field.

"We did that and were only really lacking in the final third.

"Second half we struggled to get an intensity into the game because there was too many fouls but they increased their intensity.

"But we had younger players in there and I thought Mackye Townsend-West was outstanding, which is a real positive."

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