More away day joy for Hitchin Town has Mark Burke plotting a better future

Hitchin Town manager Mark Burke was delighted with his team's performance at Royston.

Hitchin Town manager Mark Burke was delighted with his team's performance at Royston. - Credit: DANNY LOO PHOTOGRAPHY

Mark Burke is looking to build on Hitchin Town's much-improved away form - the latest a derby day success at Royston Town.

The 1-0 win means the Canaries have picked up seven points out of a possible nine on their travels and climbed out of the dreaded bottom two in Southern League Premier Division Central.

Callum Stead converted a Josh Coldicott-Stevens free-kick with the last touch of the first-half to give Burke's side the victory at Garden Walk and the boss believes the win could be an important one in the campaign.

He said: "I am delighted with the result. It is always a tough place to go to and with it being a derby there is always going to be a bit of fire in there, so I am really pleased to come away with a 1-0 win.

“We are hoping this result will help us push on. We beat Stourbridge, drew to Rushall, and won here which is a great return and one I wasn’t expecting.

“It shows we are a decent team on our day and we are looking to build on that.

"We now need to claw our way out of the relegation zone and try get into that mid-table area.”

Speaking to HTFC Radio, he added: “I didn’t envisage a pretty game and we didn’t get a very pretty game but I felt we were deserved winners.

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“We played a five at the back and they were colossal. The midfield were all over the pitch. It was a really good all-round performance and a proper smash and grab away from home.”

The lead was taken just as half-time loomed, with Stead the goal scorer and with the home side surmounting pressure throughout the second half, the forward was vital on the breakaway.

Burke said: "The finish was excellent and I think the keeper did well on the other occasions to stop him from having a couple more.

“It was brilliant to see the green and yellow supporting us too and they were loud and really played a part to help us.”

The Canaries are back at Top Field on New Year's Day when they host play-off chasing Peterborough Sports.

Kick-off is at 3pm.