Woe continues for Canaries

Hitchin Town round-up by NEIL JENSEN Another defeat, another catalogue of misfortune and further damage to Hitchin s hopes of mounting a play-off challenge. That was the story of the Canaries 1-0 defeat by Cheshunt at a freezing Top Field on Tuesday nigh

Hitchin Town round-up by NEIL JENSEN

Another defeat, another catalogue of misfortune and further damage to Hitchin's hopes of mounting a play-off challenge.

That was the story of the Canaries' 1-0 defeat by Cheshunt at a freezing Top Field on Tuesday night.

Although this performance was a vast improvement on the last two games, it was a dispirited Hitchin side that took the field against Cheshunt.


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In contrast, their opponents, who were in the midst of a bad run when they turned up for a game that was abandoned on December 30, looked a transformed side.

The Canaries were not without their chances, however, and in an even first half, Gavin Jaggard had two opportunities to score, notably when he missed from close range after good work by Chris Dillon.

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Cheshunt goalkeeper Martin Peat did well to prevent a Dillon header from finding the target and Mark Ducket's shot was only inches wide of the goal.

At the opposite end, Rob Beckwith stopped Cheshunt from scoring on a number of occasions, diving to save from Darrell Cox and stopping a point blank effort from the same player.

Cheshunt's goal in the 52nd minute came after a blunder by the Hitchin goalkeeper, who threw the ball to the feet of Cox who planted it into the back of the net.

For a while, it looked as though Cheshunt would take total control and George Gregoriou created a chance for Cox who rounded Beckwith but shot wide.

Despite considerable pressure, Hitchin were unable to find a way past the Cheshunt defence and when they did, the ball refused to run kindly.

Cheshunt almost snatched another goal towards the end when Dewayne Clark sent a powerful header past the post from a corner.

Canaries: Beckwith, Childs, Ducket, Frater, Folds, Lamacraft, Williams, Deeney, Dillon, Jaggard (Orphanou 72), Parker.

P For the second time in a week, Hitchin Town returned home pointless and had a player red carded on Saturday.

The Canaries went down to another defeat, this time 2-0 at Stamford.

At Stamford, the match officials came in for some severe criticism, but throughout the 90 minutes, Hitchin failed to offer much encouragement to their travelling fans.

For the fifth time in six games, Hitchin received a dent to their play-off chances on Saturday.

Hitchin will claim that the turning point of the game was in the 13th minute.

That was when Dillon raced through and was brought down on the edge of the Stamford penalty area.

The referee actually awarded Stamford a free-kick and in the protests, Jaggard was booked.

Seven minutes later, Jaggard received another yellow card after a crude tackle and was show the route to the dressing room.

In the 31st minute, Jason Turner received the ball inside the area and turned a defender before shooting Stamford ahead.

Turner struck the crossbar just two minutes later as Hitchin started to come under severe pressure.

It was not long before Stamford increased their lead, Stuart Wilson flicking the ball past Beckwith after a deft chip into the area on 36 minutes.

Hitchin came back just before the interval, Liam Folds striking the bar with a volley following a corner and David Deeney forcing goalkeeper Chris Sanna to save.

After the break, the Canaries came out in a determined mood, although they made little headway.

Stamford defender Brad Piercewright was lucky not to follow Jaggard into the dressing room after a cynical foul on Wayne Mills.

Late in the game, Dillon headed over from a good cross by Carl Williams and Ryan Frater cleared off the line in a final flurry.

Interestingly, the referee was escorted off the pitch by home officials, such was the reaction at the final whistle.

Although it would be easy to blame poor refereeing, Hitchin must be just as frustrated with their own contribution to another disappointing afternoon.

Canaries: Beckwith, Childs, Frater, Folds, Jaggard, Deeney, Williams, Lamacraft, Dillon, Mills (Parker 73), Ducket.

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