Linnets ensure a tough start for Canaries

Hitchin Town 0 King s Lynn 1 MARCUS CRAWLEY Reports NOBODY said it would be an easy start to the new season for Hitchin Town. And so it proved as Tuesday night s defeat followed Saturday s reverse at Tiverton. Much like the weekend, the Canaries were wort

Hitchin Town 0

King's Lynn 1



NOBODY said it would be an easy start to the new season for Hitchin Town.

And so it proved as Tuesday night's defeat followed Saturday's reverse at Tiverton.

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Much like the weekend, the Canaries were worthy of a point or more.

A late goal from Jack Defty broke their hearts on this occasion and sent the Linnets back to Norfolk with a smile on their faces.

The visitors included two players with strong local connections on the bench. Former Canary Matt Nolan failed to make it on during the 90 minutes while ex-Stevenage Boro favourite Sam McMahon came on for just the last quarter of an hour.

Luton old boy David Deeney provided the early thrust for Hitchin.

First his marauding run from the halfway line ended with a shot straight down the throat of keeper Shaun Marshall, another to enjoy a short spell at Boro's Broadhall Way.

Another rocket failed to trouble Marshall and it was the Linnets who were next to threaten.

Liam Folds did fabulously well to put off Defty when he seemed certain to score, while Frazer Toms forced a good save from Michael Parkin at his near post and the goalkeeper held on well to Michael Frew's shot.

With potential partners Gavin Jaggard and Grant Carney both injured, striker Chris Dillon was ploughing a bit of a lone furrow up front yet still looked a class act.

The only flaw on the night was his normally assured finishing.

His first blemish was when Wayne Mills cleverly played him in but he slipped his shot just past the post.

Mills missed - past the other post this time with Dillon the provider - in an almost identical move minutes later.

Dillon could not find the target on the restart either before his real howler midway through the half.

A wonderful Mills cross was pleading for a finish but Dillon headed over when he seemed destined to bag the opening goal.

Marshall performed heroics to keep out his next effort.

The game was becoming a real end-to-end affair as the Linnets upped the ante.

Before this, Neil Pugh was inches away from giving Hitchin the lead when he desperately tried to get on the end of a Daniel French cross.

Winger French also dragged a shot well wide after a sizzling run could not end with a flourish.

The visitors' threat was growing and only a raised flag for offside prevented Toms giving his side the lead.

Then, after his two previous efforts had been repelled, Defty broke the deadlock.

His fine run took him past defenders and keeper Parkin alike and he tucked the ball into an empty net.

This prompted a double switch by Darren Salton, Mark Bridge and Glen Lamacraft on for Mills and Andy Ross.

Any hopes of a point were dashed in added time as a goalmouth scramble ended with Marshall clutching the ball.

Hitchin face two more difficult games over the bank holiday weekend - at home to Chippenham Town (Saturday) followed by a visit to Banbury United (Monday).

Canaries: Parkin, Cretton (Taylor 49m), Ducket, Hammonds, Folds, Deeney, Pugh, Ross (Lamacraft 84m), Dillon, Mills (Bridge 84m), French.