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The Southern Football League

Hitchin Town 1 Aylesbury United 4

Saturday, February 26 2005

Hitchin slumped to their second 4-1 defeat in three games, stunned by a first half performance from Aylesbury that saw the Ducks go in at half-time three goals to the good.

Aside from a blow to morale, the Canaries suffered another setback with the 90th minute sending off of James Ayres. Just why 21 players had to get involved in a needless playground scuffle was beyond the 424 crowd, but it was all rather confusing and Ayres was not the only guilty party.

Aylesbury went ahead in the 19th minute when Daniel French shot home after Richard Wilmot had parried Paul Edgworth's shot. The second goal came on the half-hour, Liam Folds rifling a superb drive into the bottom corner of the net. Three minutes from the interval, Edgeworth cemented Aylesbury's lead.

Hitchin came out fighting in the second half, and for a while, a stirring recovery looked on the cards. Josh Sozzo and Glen Lamacraft both went close to scoring, before Sozzo reduced the arrears. In the 66th minute, Bilal Hassan squared the ball to Sozzo, who beat Jack Rashid with a cool finish.

Aaron Cavill, with a volley, and Ayres, with a header both had chances to add to Hitchin's tally, and a free kick by Shane Hill was tipped over the bar by Rashid.

Finally, Aylesbury sealed their victory and killed off a Hitchin revival in the final minute, Drew Roberts setting up Edgeworth for his second goal of the game.

From the restart, an ill-timed challenge sparked off a brawl, the result of which was Ayres' dismissal. An ugly end to an otherwise well-mannered game.

Hitchin: Wilmot, Barr, McMenamin, Smith, Ayres, Lamacraft, Cavill, Lewis, Bridge (Hill h/t), Sozzo, Hassan

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