Jaggard's back in the swing of things
PUBLISHED: 11:57 12 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:27 06 May 2010
Hitchin Town 1 Halesowen Town 0 MARCUS CRAWLEY reports JUSTICE was done as the Canaries finally secured all three points at Top Field against their visitors from the Midlands. It took over an hour for Darren Salton s men to break the deadlock after severa
Hitchin Town 1 Halesowen Town 0
MARCUS CRAWLEY reports
JUSTICE was done as the Canaries finally secured all three points at Top Field against their visitors from the Midlands.
It took over an hour for Darren Salton's men to break the deadlock after several false dawns, including a missed penalty, threatened to make it a frustrating Saturday afternoon.
Salton has tinkered with his squad in recent weeks and all the new additions looked useful, especially midfielder David Hicks on loan from Northampton.
A wet, drab day did not make for ideal footballing conditions but Hitchin knocked the ball around well in the early stages without applying the final touch.
Former Hitchin striker Nathan Lamey was leading the Halesowen line and he offered their main threat during the 90 minutes, including sending a header straight at relieved keeper Richard Wilmot as early as the sixth minute.
The hosts enjoyed a purple patch midway through the opening half.
Eventual matchwinner Gavin Jaggard, back for his third spell at Top Field, spurned two decent opportunities, strike partner Josh Sozzo had another effort blocked on the line and James Ayres' header was well held by Dean Coleman.
The threat of Lamey could never be disregarded though and he went perilously close to the opening goal.
His free-kick took a deflection and forced Wilmot into an even better save than first appeared by pushing the ball round the post. Then from the resulting corner, Lamey thumped an effort off the same upright.
Hitchin penalty appeals fell on deaf ears minutes before the break when Hicks released Jaggard. He went down under a challenge but it seemed a fair call to wave away the protestations.
The breakthrough should have arrived on 51 minutes as Hitchin were awarded a spot-kick.
Gary Knight was penalised for hauling down Jaggard but Sozzo sent his penalty into Fishponds Road.
This horrendous miss may have fazed the Canaries, although they continued to press and earned their reward just after the hour mark. The ball ran kindly for Jaggard in the box and his smart turn was followed by a low shot past Coleman.
Salton gave a run to another loanee, David Daniels from Cambridge United, and he showed a clean pair of heels down the right wing.
It was still Halesowen who applied the majority of the late pressure and they could have snatched a point when Lamey surprisingly volleyed wide of an inviting net. An equaliser would have been harsh on the Canaries and will put them in good heart for Saturday's visit to top six side Banbury United.
Canaries: Wilmot, Lochhead, Okai, Ayres, Folds, Hicks, French (Daniels 72m), Cavill, Jaggard, Sozzo, Ducket.