Will it be festive cheer for Hitchin?

Hitchin Town go into the Christmas period knowing they have a good chance of coming out the other side with a flourishing title bid. Before the two holiday games, the Canaries travel to Yate Town, a tough hurdle but one which will test their promotion cre

Hitchin Town go into the Christmas period knowing they have a good chance of coming out the other side with a flourishing title bid.

Before the two holiday games, the Canaries travel to Yate Town, a tough hurdle but one which will test their promotion credentials.

While Hitchin are in third place, Yate are one position lower and a point behind. Hitchin have played one game less.

"We had a tough game there last season and Yate have proved they are a strong team on their own patch, so we will need to be at our best," said manager Darren Salton.

The Hitchin public are beginning to warm to Salton's side and Saturday's gate of 394 was a clear indication of the progress made at the club in the past two years.

Local football fans have the chance to see Hitchin in action twice over Christmas.

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Hemel Hempstead are the visitors on Boxing Day (3pm kick-off) and then Cheshunt come to Top Field on Saturday, December 30.

Both Herts sides are struggling near the bottom of the table but the Southern League this season is an open affair insisted Salton.

"Hemel and Cheshunt are 17th and 18th respectively but there are only seven points between us in third place and Hemel. A few results can make an enormous difference.

"That's why we can never be complacent in this league."

Hitchin officials are urging local fans to come out and support the team as its promotion campaign gathers momentum.

Treasurer Roy Izzard said: "We desperately need some good gates as we had a big gap between home games in October and November.

"And now we don't have the benefit of a local derby with Bedford, we need games against the likes of Hemel and Cheshunt to bring in a good gate.

"Those that do come will see that we have improved tremendously in the past 12 months or so.