Canaries singing again after four-star show against Leiston
- Credit: KARYN HADDON
After four league games without a goal and nine without a win, Hitchin Town found both their shooting boots and the winning formula in style against Leiston.
The 4-1 success lifted the Canaries off the foot of the Southern League Premier Division Central table and was a complete reversal of the FA Trophy match between the two sides, played on the same Top Field pitch as the 3-1 victory for the Suffolk side two weeks earlier.
This was a performance to delight the home faithful, full of excitement and promise and added to the 0-0 draw gained on Saturday at Biggleswade Town, there is a sense that Hitchin may have turned the corner in their battle to avoid relegation.
The Canaries bench included Jack Green, back from a loan spell at Colney Heath, and new signing Jordan Kinoshi.
The 25-year-old is an exciting forward signed from Welwyn Garden City who starred in their run to the last 32 of the FA Trophy, scoring in the eventual elimination at home to National League Aldershot Town.
Both appeared late on but by then Mark Burke's men had the contest well in hand.
On-loan Luton Town youngster Matt Moloney was a couple of inches away from a meaningful connection to an early corner but he would not be denied and on nine minutes he bagged his first for the club.
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Chances came and went, with Leiston also testing Charlie Horlock, but it was soon two, Callum Stead getting his first goal since returning from South Shields.
They conceded moments later though, Finlay Barnes making it 2-1, but it just fired Hitchin up more and the two-goal advantage was restored six minutes into the second period, an outstanding finish by Moloney into the top corner.
The game was wrapped up with 20 minutes to go with a clever reverse pass by Stead finding Lewis Barker who produced a composed finish.
Leiston tried to finish by finding some consolation but Horlock was in no mood to concede again and the only downside to the win is they have to wait eight days before taking this newly-found confidence into their next league game, away to Lowestoft Town on Tuesday.