Norwich City put 10 past Hitchin Town at Top Field

Jonny McNamara tries to beat his man.

Jonny McNamara tries to beat his man. - Credit: Archant

Visiting team win Battle of the Canaries as Hitchin celebrate 150th anniversary

Hitchin Town invited Norwich City and their stars to help celebrate their 150th anniversary of football in the town, and their guests enjoyed themselves to the maximum.

The visitors had said they would bring their first team to the party and they made good on their promise with nine full internationals among their ranks, with different XIs starting each half.

Hitchin will be happy with their first-half display when an organised and hard-working effort restricted City to just two Cameron Jerome goals. They also went close themselves when Jonny McNamara put Matt Lench through on goal only for his chip to be flicked over the bar by England international John Ruddy at full stretch.

If Hitchin thought that they could carry their first half performance into the second period they were mistaken.

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Alex Neil’s Norwich came out all guns blazing with former Celtic striker Gary Hooper and Scotland defenders Steven Whittaker and Russell Martin among their numbers.

They hit the back of the net five times in 20 second-half minutes to pull clear, leaving Hitchin to do the chasing.

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They showed the class that won them promotion to the Premier League last season and put on a clinical display of finishing.

Tony Andreu scored a hat-trick but could have more but for some fine saves from substitute goalkeeper Michael Johnson. The man he had replaced, Charlie Horlock, had made two superb stops himself in the first period.

Hooper, Wes Hoolahan from the spot, a Gary O’Neil brace and a Whittaker finish on the final whistle helped Norwich to double figures, but despite the score this was still an evening of celebration for the home side.

The game had drawn in a crowd of 1,777 with money raised going to the club as well as Children in Need and the Garden House Hospice in Letchworth GC.

They had also celebrated their 150th anniversary by welcoming a top drawer side to Top Field, even if the result hadn’t been as kind as they had hoped.

Hitchin: Horlock, Rolfe, Bickerstaff, Ann, Webb, Pearson, McNamara, Donnelly, Martin, Smith, Lench. Subs: Johnson, Walster, Corran, Kirkpatrick, Brooks, Wright, Payne, Arlick, Munday.

Norwich first half XI: Ruddy, E Bennett, R Bennett, Bassong, Johnson, Tettey, Dorrans, Thompson, Loza, Jerome, Josh Murphy. Second half XI: Rudd, Whittaker, Martin, Turner, Toffolo, Mulumbu, O’Neil, Andreu, Hoolahan, Hooper, Jacob Murphy.

Att: 1777

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