PUBLISHED: 12:10 04 January 2011 | UPDATED: 12:47 04 January 2011
Zak Burke hits four as Hitchin stun Soham Town with nine-goal rout
Hitchin Town 9 Soham Town Rangers 1
Anyone expecting Hitchin to be a little rusty after weeks of inactivity was soon put right with an outstanding display over lowly Soham Town Rangers.
The New Year got off to a perfect start with Hitchin’s biggest league win since January 1991 and Zak Burke was the standout performer bagging four goals in a 24-minute spell.
The win sent Hitchin 13 points clear at the top of the Zamaretto Central Division and added another eight goals to an already incredible goal difference, and with nearest challengers Arlesey dropping points at Biggleswade this was a good day’s work for Carl Williams’ men.
Tony Fontenelle put Hitchin ahead in the 15th minute and the amount of time and space he was allowed should have hinted at the defensive frailties of the visitors.
He ran 25 yards with the ball, cut inside and trickled the ball in the net from just inside the penalty area.
At this point, though, Soham were still in the game but six minutes from the interval John Frendo added a second when he followed a long ball and winning possession he shot wide of hapless goalkeeper Daniel Bircham.
Just before the interval, Hitchin extended their lead further when Tom Pepper crossed from the byline and Burke swept the ball into the net.
Soham pulled a goal back a minute into the second half thanks to a very debatable penalty netted by Dubi Ogbonna, but it was only a temporary respite for Soham as a four-goal salvo in 10 minutes destroyed any hopes of a comeback.
Burke was next to score, finishing after Ieuan Lewis set him up in the 56th minute, and four minutes later the two players combined once more, with Burke firing home from six yards.
In the 61st minute, Richard Howell finished another sweeping move to make it 6-1.
Time after time, Hitchin’s sorties down Soham’s right flank threatened to add more goals, and in the 65th minute it became reality once more with Lewis passing inside to Pepper who shot past Bircham.
Hitchin were not finished. Burke secured his fourth of the game in the 69th minute thanks to Frendo’s lay-off and six minutes from the interval substitute Jamie Arlick shot home after Frendo had been denied.
With double figures beckoning, the Hitchin fans bayed for more singing “we want 10” and it almost came when Howell struck the woodwork.
Hitchin’s football, at times, was breathtaking and their finishing sublime.
The Canaries are still unbeaten and something very sinister would need to happen to stop this team from reaching promotion.
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