Canaries end on song with league win and cup success

PUBLISHED: 11:23 01 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:23 01 May 2019

Hitchin Towns Scott Belgrove was on target against both Banbury and Hemel.	Picture: Peter Else

Hitchin Towns Scott Belgrove was on target against both Banbury and Hemel. Picture: Peter Else

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Hitchin Town may have had a difficult season on the pitch but they made sure it ended with smiles and silverware.

The FA Cup run aside, which saw the Canaries make the first round proper and bring the BBC to Top Field for the draw, the club has been languishing in the bottom reaches of the Southern League Premier Division Central.

But they completed their league season with a 2-1 win at Banbury United on Saturday before a 2-0 success over Hemel Hempstead Town two days later handed them the Hertfordshire FA Charity Cup.

The league victory in Oxfordshire means Town finish the campaign in 18th position, two places but a massive 12 points from the relegation zone.

It also ended a run of five straight defeats although they had to come from behind to do it.

Amer Awadh's goal on the break put Banbury ahead on 14 minutes and the home pressure continued with a number of corners keeping Michael Johnson busy.

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But Town were level by half-time after excellent work from Al-Amin Kazeem set-up Isaac Galliford to hit a sumptuous lofted effort over the head of Jack Harding.

But with the wind at their backs in the second half, Hitchin attacked at will.

They did have one early scare when Ricky Johnson's effort struck a post but most of the chances were at the Banbury end.

Scott Belgrove's effort was tipped against the crossbar by Harding and the keeper also made a smart save to deny Max Ryan.

But with seven minutes remaining the winner arrived, Ezra Forde prodding the ball home at the second attempt.

The game was in the balance until the 34th-minute when Belgrove was brought down and Jay Dowie converted the penalty.

Tiernan Parker then saved a Hemel spot-kick before Hitchin wrapped things up in stoppage time with Belgrove's emphatic finish.

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