Testing 48 hours for the Canaries
Rugby Town 0 Hitchin Town 0 NEIL JENSEN reports Hitchin Town face two important away games in three days. They travel to Cirencester on Saturday and Northwood 48 hours later on Monday night seeking to gain their first away win since before Christmas. The
Rugby Town 0 Hitchin Town 0
NEIL JENSEN reports
Hitchin Town face two important away games in three days.
They travel to Cirencester on Saturday and Northwood 48 hours later on Monday night seeking to gain their first away win since before Christmas.
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The Canaries ended a run of five consecutive away defeats at Rugby on Saturday, a sequence that has seen them slip down the table and out of immediate play-off contention.
But manager Darren Salton knows that a run of wins could bring them back into the reckoning.
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"Two wins could make all the difference, although both Cirencester and Northwood have their own reasons to get the points," he said.
Hitchin have lost both league visits to Cirencester but last season won 7-0 at the Corinium Stadium.
They have failed to win at Northwood in two previous games at Chestnut Avenue.
"If we are to climb back into contention, these are games we must win," insisted Salton.
Tuesday night's home game with Clevedon was postponed due to Top Field being waterlogged.
After recent results, keeping a clean sheet and gaining a point away from home at Rugby has to be seen as some sort of progress.
The Canaries gained their first ever point at Butlin Road, no mean feat given their recent run.
It was not a game for spectators, however, with very little action to cheer the small crowd.
Salton made some radical changes to his line-up following the departure of Josh Sozzo and Rob Miller in midweek.
Scott Orphanou started for the first time in a league game and recent acquisitions from Codicote, the Scanlon brothers, also featured.
The first half had few highlights, but in the 33rd minute, Orphanou went close to scoring when he volleyed just past the past following a long ball.
Just before the interval, Rob Beckwith stopped Chris Tullin from scoring after a dangerous cross.
The tempo was raised in the second period, and Chris Dillon hit the side netting with a header from a corner.
Substitute David Kolodynski almost opened the scoring for Rugby when his tame shot was cleared off the line by Ryan Frater.
Shortly afterwards, Dillon had the best chance of the game when he headed wide following a good cross by Paul Scanlon.
Daniel French then went on a run that ended with a shot that whistled past the post.
Although Hitchin had the upper hand in the closing stages, they had to rely on two fine saves from Beckwith, from Kolodynski and Aaron Stringfellow, to earn a point.
Canaries: Beckwith, Childs, A Scanlon (Gentle-King 79m), Cretton, Frater, Deeney, Williams, Jaggard, Dillon, Orphanou (P Scanlon 61m), French.