Home slump continues for Town

HITCHIN'S inability to win at home continued against Gloucester City but the Canaries will be encouraged by an improved performance. Not for the first time in recent weeks manager Darran Hay shuffled his pack, bringing in three new faces to the starting l

HITCHIN'S inability to win at home continued against Gloucester City but the Canaries will be encouraged by an improved performance.

Not for the first time in recent weeks manager Darran Hay shuffled his pack, bringing in three new faces to the starting line-up, but of those three former Luton man Liam George limped off after 48 minutes and defender Ollie Thorne was sent off late in the game.

The Canaries got off to a perfect start with a goal after just two minutes when their third new signing Liam McDevitt played the ball across goal and Mark E'Beyer appeared to a get a touch, but Gloucester defender Lewis Fathers got there first and touched the ball past his own goalkeeper.

Hitchin had the better of the early stages with Russell Bull volleying wide and E'Beyer heading over, and George created a chance for Paul Barnes but his shot was comfortably saved by Gloucester keeper Kevin Sawyer.

Gloucester almost equalised when Ashley Thomas sent a low drive towards goal but Martin Bennett pulled off a one-handed save.

It was Thomas that did it for the visitors when a minute before the break he powerfully headed home from a corner. Hitchin were not deterred and continued to play with some confidence in the second half.

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Bull and Barnes both went close with shots after runs through the Gloucester defence but the home team had to thank Bennett once more when he saved from Lee Smith's free kick. Eleven minutes from time, both sides were reduced to 10 men after a skirmish just inside the Hitchin half.

Hitchin's Thorne was carded for a lunging tackle and Gloucester's Matt Rose was also dismissed after a stamping incident during the confusion.

In the final minute, Hitchin had a cluster of chances to take all three points, notably a header by McDevitt that was superbly saved by Sawyer, but they were unable to put any of them away.

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Ellams, Thorne, McDevitt, Stupple, Lewis, E'Beyer, Barnes, Bull (Gilbert 80), George (Boateng 48)

Attendance: 288

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