Gav’s off as Canaries push City all the way
Bath City 2 Hitchin Town 1NEIL JENSEN reportsThe Canaries may have lost at Twerton Park but their performance suggests that in the past few weeks, Darren Salton s side are competing with the best that the Southern League has to offer. Against Bath, a weakened Hitchin side fought for 90 minutes again
Bath City 2 Hitchin Town 1
NEIL JENSEN reports
The Canaries may have lost at Twerton Park but their performance suggests that in the past few weeks, Darren Salton's side are competing with the best that the Southern League has to offer.
Against Bath, a weakened Hitchin side fought for 90 minutes against a team that has promotion aspirations.
The fact that, despite losing half of the team that appeared a week earlier, the Canaries were able to run Bath a close second, indicates that progress has been made this season.
Hitchin travelled to Bath without four key men, and they suffered an early setback when Tony Bird headed the home side in front after just two minutes after Scott Partridge had struck the crossbar.
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Although Hitchin struggled to create any chance of their own, they were able to restrict Bath to half-chances, although Richard Wilmot had to be at his best to stop efforts from Phil Walsh and the busy Partridge.
In the 40th minute, Gavin Jaggard, who was the victim of some rough-house tactics from the Bath defence, was red carded for retaliation. Hitchin's task had become doubly difficult.
But Hitchin's spirit is not easily doused these days and in the second half, Bath found it difficult to break them down.
Indeed, it was no surprise when Hitchin equalised after 66 minutes.
It was largely due to the determination of Glen Lamacraft, who bundled his way past two defenders, shot and saw the rebound fall to Thomas Hayes, who rolled the ball into the net.
Bath immediately went on the offensive with Bird and Partridge both going close to scoring.
It was Partridge who broke the deadlock on 75 minutes, slotting into an empty net after Bird had squared the ball.
Hitchin appealed for a penalty in the final minute when Hayes climbed for a cross, leaving him bloodied and bruised, but they were unable to find an equaliser.
Canaries: Wilmot, Pugh, Okai, Hammonds, Folds, Hicks (Parker 70), Daniels (W Mills 55), Cavill (Ayres 79), Jaggard, Hayes, Lamacraft.
* Hitchin travel to fellow mid-table outfit Merthyr Tydfil in the Southern Premier League on Saturday.
Then Salton's side visit Cirencester Town in the quarter-finals of the league (Errea) cup on Tuesday night.