Hay feels sick after Hitchin defeat
Hitchin Town 0 Halesowen 1 CANARIES' manager Darran Hay said he felt ""sick"" after seeing his side slump to their fifth defeat in six in a game of few chances. The Canaries went into the match looking for their first home league win of the se
Hitchin Town 0 Halesowen 1
CANARIES' manager Darran Hay said he felt "sick" after seeing his side slump to their fifth defeat in six in a game of few chances at Top Field.
The Canaries went into the match looking for their first home league win of the season with a new look 16 which included eight new Hay singings.
But by the end of the game they had been reduced to nine men, failed to score in their third consecutive home league match and found themselves dropping into the bottom four.
Although being into the relegation zone after just 13 games won't trouble Hay, Hitchin's failure to find the net will.
New signing Daniel Charge looked lively up front alongside fan favourite Paul Barnes but the supply to the strikers just wasn't there.
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Hay hopes to address this problem through the signing of Mark E'Beyer plus Chris Doyle on loan from Barnet but the new look side will take time to gel.
One positive Hay will take from the game is the new look defence, with new left back Darrell Ellams already looking like a good signing.
Ellams slotted in well alongside Tom Pepper, Dean Gilbert and Marcus Rose and between them the four defenders coped quite well with the bruising Halesowen attack.
Only once in the game did they let their concentration slip, but unfortunately for the Canaries this led to the only goal on 21 minutes.
Halesowen's Mark Danks hit a looping cross in from the right for teammate Aaron Cornwall who found himself alone with keeper Martin Bennett.
They both leapt into each other as they went for the ball but as they fell back down to earth Cornwall scooped it in.
There were a few hushed calls for a foul but the referee allowed the goal to stand.
Precious little else happened in the first half and it remained that way during the first few minutes of the second half too.
The crowd were finally woken up in the 67th minute when the game burst briefly into life following a Paul Brown run who, after taking on two players, laid a pass off to E'Beyer.
The midfielder found himself unmarked in the box and although he had two wide targets either side of the keeper to aim for, he smacked it straight down the throat of the goalkeeper and with it Hitchin's best chance of an equaliser.
Things soon became worse for Hitchin when just two minutes later right back Tom Pepper was given his marching orders for a second yellow card after impeding a Halesown player on the half way line.
The game then fell into a 20 minute lull, but in the 90th minute Hitchin were awarded a free kick on the edge of Halesowen's box.
There was then a tussle in the box and E'Beyer fell over clutching his face.
After consulting his linesman the referee handed a yellow card to Halesowen right back Michael Briscoe, but then produced one for the fallen Hitchin midfielder.
The crowd vented their disgust, but this turned to outrage seconds later when they saw the referee pull a red from his pocket - it had been E'Beyer's second yellow of the afternoon.
The referee soon blew for full time but there was still time for controversy - a handful of Hitchin fans marched down the front of the stands to aim a volley full of verbal abuse at the referee which was both uncalled for and did nothing but damage Hitchin Town's image.
Speaking after the game, Darren Hay said: "I am feeling sick. We haven't had one piece of luck go our way all game.
"We've got a new bunch of players together and they matched one of the most fancied teams in the league all afternoon, but they just couldn't get a goal.
"Both sending offs were harsh, but like I said our luck was out today.