Bright start to the New Year
PUBLISHED: 11:02 05 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:24 06 May 2010
Hitchin Town round-up by NEIL JENSEN Hitchin Town won their first league game since November 19 with an emphatic display against struggling Cheshunt. The Canaries first game of 2006 was highlighted by Josh Sozzo s first hat-trick for the club, taking him
Hitchin Town round-up by NEIL JENSEN
Hitchin Town won their first league game since November 19 with an emphatic display against struggling Cheshunt.
The Canaries' first game of 2006 was highlighted by Josh Sozzo's first hat-trick for the club, taking him to 12 league goals for the season, as they won 4-1 on Monday afternoon.
Sozzo's first goal, after 24 minutes, was fortunate to say the least. A shot by new signing Parys Okai was deflected past Cheshunt goalkeeper Michael Kalli and Sozzo claimed the goal.
Eight minutes later, Hitchin were two ahead, Gavin Jaggard firing home after Daniel French had squared the ball.
Both sides had further chances - Dewayne Clark fired over for Cheshunt and French saw a low drive saved by Kalli.
A minute before the break, Cheshunt pulled a goal back when Lloyd Opara netted from the penalty spot.
Opara could have levelled the scores when he went round two defenders and saw his shot saved by Wilmot.
In the 58th minute, though, Sozzo scored his second goal when his deflected shot, following a good run by Mark Ducket, deceived Kalli.
Again, Opara troubled Hitchin, however he had another effort pushed for a corner.
Hitchin scored again in the 67th minute, killing off any Cheshunt comeback. Sozzo had two bites of the cherry from a tight angle, shooting home at the second attempt.
Jaggard could have added more gloss on the scoreline late on but his shot, after beating a defender, was wide of the target.
Canaries: Wilmot, Pugh, Okai (Hayes 75), Ayres, Folds, Hicks, French (W Mills 70), Cavill, Jaggard, Sozzo (Baldry 83), Ducket.
One of Hitchin's former players came back to haunt the Canaries on New Year's Eve, inspiring King's Lynn to an easy 3-0 victory.
Matt Nolan, one of the most successful products of the club's youth policy, scored one and made one as the Canaries capitulated in front of a big crowd at the Walks.
His third minute shot was parried by Wilmot, only for Danny Bloomfield to follow up and score King's Lynn's first goal.
Nolan was the best performer on view and showed some of the sublime skill which made his name at Top Field.
King's Lynn went two ahead after 24 minutes, Jack Defty heading home after an Adam Smith cross was headed back by Kevin O'Halloran.
The home side put Hitchin under intense pressure for the remainder of the half, with Defty, Sam McMahon and Grant Cooper all going close.
Hitchin performed better in the second half, and Sozzo had a long range shot saved by goalkeeper John Higgs.
At the other end, however, Neil Pugh cleared a Defty header off the line.
Twelve minutes from time, Nolan robbed Stuart Hammonds and rounded Wilmot for the third King's Lynn goal.
Canaries: Wilmot, Pugh, Ducket (Hayes 46), Hammonds, Folds, Hicks, Cavill (W Mills 62), Jaggard, French, Sozzo, Okai.
P Striker Mark Bridge has left Top Field to join league rivals Aylesbury United.
Bridge, a popular player with the Hitchin crowd, left in pursuit of regular first team football.
He joined the Canaries in the 2002-3 season, and his never-say-die attitude made him a favourite with Hitchin fans.
Bridge will be remembered for some spectacular goals, not least his effort against Chippenham Town this season.
Manager Darren Salton paid tribute to the diminutive striker: "Mark has been a pleasure to work with but I could not guarantee first team football and we fully understand his reason for moving on.
"He has never given anything less than 100 per cent for Hitchin Town and he will always be welcome at Top Field. We all wish him the very best at Aylesbury.