Hitchin Town round-up: Mark Burke’s Kettering preview, Dorchester and Slough reviews, injury and fixture news and much more
PUBLISHED: 10:40 15 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:48 15 December 2017
All the latest Hitchin Town news including Mark Burke’s managers notes, injury and fixture updates and more.
MARK BURKE’S MANAGER’S NOTES
I thought that in the first half we played some of our best football of the season so far. We played with the high tempo and energy that I think brings out the best in us. We were also clinical with our finishing and to be 3-0 up at half-time meant we were in control. We managed the game well at the start of the second-half and the fourth goal really ended the contest. Unfortunately the sending off made life more difficult and we expended more energy than I would have liked with the game against Slough due to be played on Monday.
It was really pleasing to get another result on the road after our earlier difficulties away from Top Field. This was our third consecutive league win away from home and I was so pleased we could reward our travelling supporters who gave us great vocal backing. The players and management really appreciate the sacrifices the supporters make when undertaking the longer journeys and basically giving up the whole day to support us.
It was obvious on Sunday that the Slough game would not take place because of the snow. I was not too bothered to have the game called off as a number of players were suffering from niggling injuries and I did not want the pitch to be cut up. We are up to date with our fixtures whereas Slough will have to play catch up having played five less games than ourselves.
It looks like Kettering are fulfilling their potential this season and have had a really good start to lie second in the table. I think this will be a true test of where we are at this stage of the season and hopefully we can get a positive result. Confidence is high after recent displays but this will be a severe challenge and I hope our supporters come out in force for what should be a very entertaining game.
Although we have beaten Bishops Stortford three times in cup competitions this season on each occasion we have not faced their full strength side as manager Kevin Watson has taken the opportunity to play mixed sides. In this league game he will play his full strength side. They comprehensively beat Slough last Saturday and having watched the video of the game I was impressed with their display. It means another difficult game on Tuesday and we will need to be on our game to come back to Hitchin with any reward.
Trey Charles is suspended for the Kettering game having received a one game ban for his sending off at Dorchester.
Ben Walster is suspended for the games with Kettering, Bishops Stortford and Royston after receiving a three game ban for his sending off at home to Bishops Stortford.
Jack Green requires an x-ray on his injured ankle and Kieran McCaffrey will have a scan on his injured knee. Both could be out of action for some time.
Brett Donnelly, Connor Vincent and Jay Dowie are available for selection for the Kettering game.
Saturday, home to Kettering in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier League, kick-off 3pm. With Hitchin having won five consecutive games and Kettering lying second in the table a good crowd can be anticipated especially as both Luton and Stevenage are away on Saturday.
Hitchin are second in the current form league table covering the last six games with five wins and one defeat. Hereford are top with five wins and one draw.
Tuesday, away to Bishops Stortford also in the league kick-off 7.45pm.
Fixture secretary Chris Newbold is working on dates for the Herts Senior Cup game with Boreham Wood and the rearranged league game with Slough. As soon as dates are agreed the details will be posted on the website.
The club made a profit of £650 at Friday’s race night despite a disappointing turn out. While Mick Docking has thanked others for their help on the night it was Mick himself who deserves the most praise. He was the driving force and without him the event would not have happened so many thanks Mick.