Fantastic Hitchin Town on top of the tree after five-star showing against Alvechurch

PUBLISHED: 14:07 20 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:07 20 September 2020

Callum Stead scored twice on his debut for Hitchin Town against Alvechurch. Picture: PETER ELSE

Callum Stead scored twice on his debut for Hitchin Town against Alvechurch. Picture: PETER ELSE

What a difference a year makes for Hitchin Town.

Almost 12 months ago they finally won their first game in the Southern League Premier Division Central at the ninth time of asking.

However, not only did they pick up a success on day one of the new season, the 5-1 demolition of Alvechurch has put them top of the table.

A crowd of 425 at Top Field not only basked in the late summer sunshine but they would have been delighted with the performance of a side brimming in confidence after eight straight wins in pre-season.

And within four minutes the Canaries had the lead.

Jhai Dhillon was tripped as he cut in from the left wing and Layne Eadie did the rest from the spot.

That advantage was doubled midway through the half with Dhillon again involved.

If was his pass through that sent Callum Stead away and the new signing from Welwyn Garden City converted for a debut goal.

Alvechurch’s day didn’t get any better when a dispute with a fan ended with Zach Foster to be sent off but they did get to half-time without conceding a further goal.

And in fact, it was the visitors who got the opening goal of the second half, Kieran Cook scoring from the penalty spot on the hour mark, but the goal simply served as a wake-up call for Hitchin.

And they were back to a two-goal lead within minutes. Stead’s man of the match display brought him an assist this time, saving the ball from going out before setting up Luke Brown to score from close range.

Stead himself got number four with a cross-shot that missed Rio Dasilva and went straight into the back of the net.

He departed soon after for a well-deserved rest but if Alvechurch thought their problems went with him then they were forced to think again when his replacement, Marcus Goldbourne, got number five with 10 minutes to go.

They almost made it six but Brown’s shot was well-saved by the keeper.

However, a 5-1 victory to start the campaign is more than adequate and they will be looking forward to the visit of Needham Market tomorrow (Monday) for the FA Cup first qualifying round.

Hitchin Town: Charlie Horlock, Jack Green, Layne Eadie, Ryan Smith, Lawrie Marsh, Ben Walster, Rio Dasilva, Jhai Dhillon (Alex Marsh), Callum Stead (Marcus Goldbourne), Luke Brown, Josh Caldicott-Stevens, (Kye Tearle).

Subs (not used): Nicolay Rusev, Steve Cawley.

Alvechurch: J.Brown, Cassidy (Da Veiga Monteiro), Foster, Taylor (Daly), Hull, Willetts, Bellis, Brown-Hill (Birch), Lloyd, Wakeling, Cook.

Subs (not used): Townsend, Marselia.

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