Hitchin Town 1-2 Tiverton Town - Canaries defeat overshadowed by mass brawl and two red cards

PUBLISHED: 17:10 31 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:14 31 March 2018

Brett Donnelly was sent off for Hitchin Town against Tiverton Town

Brett Donnelly was sent off for Hitchin Town against Tiverton Town

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Hitchin Town fell to a 2-1 defeat against Tiverton Town in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division on Saturday afternoon but the game at Top Field was overshadowed by a mass brawl and two red cards.

Owen Irish and Brett Donnelly were both sent off in the early stages after clashing inside the 18-yard box, leading to an ugly melee between players and staff from both teams with the officials struggling to regain order.

After the fighting had finally stopped, Jordan Rodgers and Levi Landricombe won the game for Tiverton just before half-time with two well taken finishes, as Dan Webb’s late header proved to be a just a consolation.

With 10 minutes on the clock Irish clashed with Donnelly inside the penalty area and the Tiverton defender sent off after a lengthy discussion between referee and linesman.

A fight between all 22 players and staff from both sides ensued with Donnelly receiving his marching orders amongst the melee.

However, much to the anger of the crowd at Top Field no penalty was awarded because Donnelly was adjudged to have fouled Irish before he elbowed the forward.

When the game restarted, Levi Landricombe missed a glorious chance for Tiverton before Ben Walster saw his low drive saved by Liam Armstrong after a powerful forward run.

However, it was the visitors who took the lead through Jordan Rogers with 43 minutes played as the striker fired into the roof of the net after Hitchin failed to clear a corner.

Matthew Spring nearly drew Mark Burke’s side level before the interval, driving through midfield before firing a rocket of a shot off the post.

The upright was still shaking at one end when Tiverton made the Canaries pay at the other.

Levi Landricombe broke the offside trap seconds before the break, keeping his composure before slotting past Michael Johnson to give Tiverton a 2-0 half-time lead.

Hitchin looked to battle back but failed to create any chances early in the second-half as the heavens opened and the rain poured down on Top Field.

Trey Charles’ curling effort with 65 minutes played forced Armstrong into a smart save to turn the ball over the bar as the Canaries pinned Tiverton back.

Hitchin bombarded the visitor’s box as they looked for a way back into the game but a disallowed McNamara goal and a couple of penalty appeals turned away saw Tiverton survive the siege.

However, when a superb diving header from Dan Webb made it 2-1 with 90 minutes on the clock, Top Field was filled with hope.

But, Hitchin could not find the equaliser as Tiverton left with all three points.

Hitchin: Johnson, Syme (Rolfe, 70’), Walster, Spring, Webb (c), Bickerstaff, Kirkpatrick (Vincent, 70’), Smith (Tshikala, 70’), McNamara, Donnelly, Charles

Subs not used: Logan, Byrne

Tiverton: Armstrong, Short, Hurst, Irish, Mammola, Gardner, Bath, M Landricombe (c), J Rogers (Hall, 75’), L Landricombe (Lewington, 75’), S Rogers

Subs not used: Price, G Rogers

Attendance: 606

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