Southern League Premier Division Central
Daniel Sweeney 26, 77
Luke Brown 51
Hitchin Town miss out on deserved point after defeat at Redditch
- Credit: DANNY LOO
Hitchin Town came away from Redditch United disappointed but not downhearted after pushing one of the pre-season favourites all the way.
In the end they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat, the winning goal come 13 minutes from time, but even after that, the Canaries came close to salvaging a well-deserved draw.
There were chances for both teams in the early going, Josh Coldicott- Stevens and Alex Marsh, having Hitchin's best ones, but there was also a warning that went unheeded about conceding free-kicks in dangerous areas, Charlie Horlock managing to save the first of them.
The keeper also pushed one hot onto a post but from the following sequence, Redditch took the lead through Dan Sweeney, profiting from a long throw on 26 minutes.
Hitchin almost found an equaliser in the moments before half-time, Marsh with a header that was glanced just wide, but they enjoyed better luck six minutes after the restart.
Marsh went short from a corner with a pass to Luke Brown and he found the back of the net with a strong finish.
There was still too many free-kicks being given away for the Canaries to be truly comfortable, Rahis Nabi putting this one over, but Redditch finally accepted one of the gifts with Sweeney's unstoppable effort beating the wall and Horlock.
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But Hitchin did not give up and the hosts were indebted to Asa Charlton for a couple of vital last-ditch blocks.
He had already denied Callum Stead and Brown and repeated the trick on the latter.
Marsh went close with a deflected effort that almost deceived Kieran Boucher in the home goal and yet Redditch almost put the game to bed when Tiago Nassunculo thumped a shot that hit the inside of the post and rolled along the line and out.
But it was Hitchin who had the final chances through Henry Snee and Stead, both though unable to grab a point.
Top Field gets its first taste of Southern League action this season when Nuneaton Borough visit on Saturday.